The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has described as untrue allegations that its officers distributed fake election materials in some polling units in Saturday’s parliamentary re-run elections in Rivers.
The commission’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja.
He was reacting to reports from Kana Local Government Area of the state that some youths alleged that INEC officials were distributing fake materials, and prevented them from conducting the poll.
The same issue was stated.to have been by some political parties’ agents at Unit 17 of Ward 16 in Obio/Akpor, who disrupted voting.
Osaze-Uzzi stated.that the materials sent to polling units were customised with serial numbers and barcode, adding that there was no way it could be changed.
“The election materials handled by our accredited electoral officials are not fake; the party agents followed them through the whole process of distribution.
“Once the serial number and barcode correspond with what party agents signed, it means that they are not fake.
“It is only an INEC official who is familiar with the result sheet that can say that it is fake or not,’’ he stated.
On the fate of eligible voters in polling units where election materials arrived late, Osaze-Uzzi stated that any voter on the queue as at 2 p.m. would be allowed to vote.
“Everybody who is on queue as at 2 p.m. will be allowed to vote.
“If electoral officers or the Resident Electoral Commissioner sees the need to extend the time for voting in any particular unit, we will give allowance for it and extend it.
“But, it will not be extension for the whole state,’’ he stated.
He added that allowance had been made for extension in the programming of the card reader.