UGHELLI – JOURNALISTS who visited the Ughelli collation center of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to monitor the collation of results from yesterday’s presidential and national assembly elections, were Sunday banned from gaining access into the premises.
Officials count votes in front of voters during the presidential and parliamentary elections on February 23, 2019, at a polling station in Port Harcourt, southern Nigeria. – Nigerians began voting for a new president on February 23, after a week-long delay that has raised political tempers, sparked conspiracy claims and stoked fears of violence. Some 120,000 polling stations began opening from 0700 GMT, although there were indications of a delay in the delivery of some materials and deployment of staff, AFP reporters said. (Photo AFP)
The ban is coming amidst a water tight security made up of a special team of mobile policemen and soldiers, positioned at the three access points to the center.
The three routes from Post Office road, Olotu street and Oteri road, are being manned by stern looking security operatives who only allow INEC staff, security operatives and journalists into the area which also plays host to the Ughelli ‘A’ division police station and Ughelli Police Area Command headquarters.
However, efforts to gain access into the collation center by journalists including Vanguard who got to the venue as early as 9a.m, was restricted by the Electoral Officer, EO in charge of the center, Andrew Akhigbe.
Giving reasons for his actions at about 11a.m, the Electoral Officer said, “We are still collating results and can’t afford to allow you be inside here for now