The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned political parties against releasing presidential and National Assembly election results, emphasising that only the commission is “legally responsible” for doing so.
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu made this known when he formally declared opened the 2023 presidential election collation centre at the International Conference Centre in Abuja on Sunday.
He appealed to all political parties and media organisations to draw their figures only from the official results released by the commission as the only body constitutionally responsible for releasing official election figures.
Mahmood also said the collation of presidential election results will be done at four levels — first at the 8,889 wards, then at the 774 local government areas, then the state collation officers for the presidential election (SCOPs) at the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory will submit the votes per candidate to the national collation centre in Abuja.
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The electoral chief said the collation centre will be open all day and all night with short breaks.
He also cautioned political parties to only draw their figures from INEC and announced that collation from states will resume by 6 pm when results from states would have arrived.
Elections for the office of the President, 360 House of Representatives and 109 Senatorial seats were held in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory on Saturday and Nigerians expect the declaration of results by the electoral umpire.
The National collation centre is currently on break to reconvene at 6pm. The centre is currently heavily guarded by security operatives.