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INEC Suspends Ekiti By-Election Over Violence, Killings

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has indefinitely suspended the Ekiti State bye-election in Ekiti after three people, including a policewoman, were killed in violent clashes.

The poll was to fill the vacancy for the Ekiti East 1 State Constituency in the state.

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However, the commission on Saturday in a statement by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Festus Okoye, said that it received a report from the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Ekiti State that the bye-election has been disrupted by violent attacks on voters, election officials and security personnel.

According to Okoye, the commission made adequate arrangements for the election, with personnel and materials arrived on time in all the 39 Polling Units spread across five wards of the constituency for the 23,670 registered voters to exercise their franchise in a free and fair process.

“However, no sooner had voting commenced than unidentified gunmen unleashed mayhem at some Polling Units, thereby disrupting the process.

“Unfortunately, some innocent voters were shot dead, while a policeman, some INEC regular and ad hoc staff who sustained gunshot injuries during the melee are receiving medical attention.

“This situation is unacceptable. In its avowed commitment to electoral integrity, the commission has suspended the election indefinitely. To continue with the process will amount to rewarding bad behaviour. The security agencies are aware of this unfortunate situation and have commenced investigation,” Okoye said.

He also expressed the commission condolences with the innocent victims of the violence, which he said was an affront to the nation’s democracy.

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