INEC Officials Flee as Army Takes over Headquarters in Rivers

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Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

Collation and announcement of results of the governorship election in Rivers State may be delayed as senior officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have abandoned the commission’s headquarters following increasing pressure from the military.

The army had taken over security at the commission’s headquarters, blocking access from both GRA and Waterlines Junctions of Aba Road. The police were just standing idly by.

The soldiers even barred journalists with valid accreditation from going into the commission’s office.

While results from some local government areas had been received at the commission and journalists and agents waiting for collation to commence, senior officials of the commission quietly left the venue.

However, a source at the commission said the officials left to avoid increasing pressure from the army.

According to the source, army officials want the commission to accept every election material they bring from the field.

There had been reports of men in military uniform snatching election results from collation centres across the state.