The Independent National electoral Commission (INEC) has commenced the signing of polling sheets ahead of the Gubernatorial elections on Saturday. 

This was disclosed by Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Cross River, Prof. Gabriel Yomere, during the inspection of the electoral materials for the polls,  

He said he personally signed all 3,281 result sheets meant for Saturday’s Governorship election to dispel rumours and allegations of electoral fraud. 

Polling sheets: Yomere stated that the need to sign the result sheets became necessary,  dispel rumours that the sheets had already been issued out to a particular political party, adding: 

  • “The rumours have been rife that INEC in Cross River has already sold the result sheets to a particular political party. But you can see for yourselves that everything is intact and have not been tampered with, as it was kept in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). 
  • “While I’m not bothered with the rumours, but to ensure transparency of the process, I will sign all the result sheets for the governorship election while the Administrative Secretary will sign that of the House of Assembly election before they are distributed to various council areas,” he said. 

Electoral act: Yomere also noted that INEC’s operations are guided by the Electoral Act and not by political parties. 

  • “Asking INEC to sign result sheets of an election that is yet to be conducted is laughable and uncalled for. 
  • “I see this as an expression of fear on the part of the political party that is making such a demand. 
  • “Why not intensify your campaigns by going house-to-house ahead of the contest instead of staying behind to dictate to INEC to do your bidding. 
  • “INEC is not under any obligation to act according to the dictates of any political party but will operate according to guidelines for the conduct of elections,” he said.. 

The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), chairman in Cross River,  Mr Bissong Attah, IPAC Chairman said that the Presidential and National Assembly elections were relatively free, However there were observable lapses, especially during collation where there were no result sheets in most polling units. 

  • “This signature is like a guarantee. The next is to ensure that all the materials are delivered intact to the various polling units across the state.”