The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared open the 2023 General Election National Collation Centre, in Abuja.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, while declaring open the centre also set ground rules for the collation process.

The rules according to Yakubu includes “ results for each state of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) shall be presented by the State Coalition Officers for the Presidential Election (SCOPE).”

He said that thereafter he as the Returning Officer for the presidential election, who also doubles as the Chief Electoral Commissioner, would collate and announce the final result.

“This is a duty that I’m privileged to perform and it will be done here at this place.”

Other rules according to him, included all accredited agents, observers, the media, the diplomatic community, and security agencies should adhere to the sitting positions assigned to them.

“On arrival at the collation centre, the SCOPE shall be received at the coalition Secretariat, which shall organise the sequence of presentation.

“The returning officer shall invite the SCOPE for the presidential election, accompanied by the REC for the presentation of the results.

“The SCOPE following the format for the presentation of results, shall loudly announce the votes scored by each political party in the state including reports of cancellations and areas where elections did not hold, if any.

“The returning officer then invites comments and observations, if any, from the polling agents.”

Yakubu added that the returning officer would request the SCOPE to submit the original copy of form EC8D.

“When all the SCOPE has presented their results, the returning officer shall display the sealed copies of results sheets EC8DA, which is a summary of results of elections on state by state basis.

“The EC8E for the Declaration of results for the election, an EC40G3 summary of registered voters in the polling units where elections were either canceled or not held.

“And I’ll have the privilege of displaying the blank forms before proceeding starts after the receipt of the reports from the various collation officers.

“Next, the returning officer shall complete the EC8DA and announce the vote scored by each party. And thereafter we’ll invite the polling agents to endorse the forms.”

Yakubu said that the returning officer then completes the EC40G3G and compares it with form EC8DA to ascertain if any of the candidates had satisfied the requirements of the law to proceed with declaration.

“If satisfied, the returning officers complete form ECAE and make a declaration of winner.

“ Finally, the returning officer will invite the agents of political parties to receive duplicate copies of the ECADA and EC8E, which is the final declaration of results.

Yakubu said that everything regarding the result collation would be done in the open.

He, however, added that in the event he was unable to brief the media, the National Commissioner on Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, would perform that responsibility.

By Editor

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