US lawmaker Chris Smith raises concerns over alleged rigging in Nigerian elections

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A member of the US House of Representatives, Chris Smith, says it is important for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to announce results without delay.

– The lawmaker states that anyone who seeks to compromise the Nigerian electoral process will be held accountable.

A member of the US House of Representatives, Chris Smith, has raised concerns over reports of purported vote manipulation in the Nigerian 2019 general elections.

The US lawmaker who is a ranking member of the House subcommittee on Africa in a statement noted that it was important for Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to announce results without delay.

He said credible reports had indicated that there were electoral irregularities in some states and localities – including Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo and Abia.

“Yesterday, Nigeria voted. Today, votes are being counted. I am very concerned by credible reports that the vote is being tampered with. To avoid any manipulation of the tally, it is critical that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announce without delay actual results — which are certified by party agents and observers — at each polling unit as the vote is tabulated,” Smith said.

“Well-placed sources report that in some states and localities — including Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, Abia — INEC commissioners are receiving enormous pressure to alter poll results. This must not be allowed to happen.

The lawmaker stated that anyone who seeks to compromise the Nigerian electoral process would be held accountable. “The eyes of the United States, of Africa, and the world are upon Nigeria and INEC. I also ask Secretary Michael Pompeo to hold accountable anyone who seeks to cheat the Nigerian people – who have waited patiently – of their vote or foments violence,” he said.

Meanwhile, the West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP) has released its preliminary statement on the Presidential and National Assembly Elections held on Saturday, February 23.

WANEP, the civil society implementing partner of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has been working to promote peaceful elections across West Africa.

The group commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Nigerians for the conduct of the elections and released some recommendations.

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