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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

INEC bans use of phones at polling booths

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday declared that it would not allow voters to make use of their mobile telephone handsets during the period of casting their votes in the next Saturday’s presidential election.

INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Ogun State, Niyi Ijalaye made the declaration yesterday in Abeokuta while addressing journalists shortly after a meeting with heads of security agencies ahead of the Saturday election.

Ijalaye, who disclosed that it is a criminal offence for voters to make use of their mobile phones at the polling centre, explained that the development becomes necessary as part of the measures to guide against vote buying in the forthcoming general elections.

The Ogun REC, who stated that voters would neither be allowed to make phone calls, nor take pictures with their phones when casting their votes, also expressed the readiness of his commission to conduct free, fair and credible election with the help of the various security agencies and other stakeholders.

“Maybe I need to emphasize this also that on voting day, when people come to the polling booths with their phones, when they approach the polling officer and they want to go in with their phones, they will not be allowed to use their phones to discuss with people or take pictures at that polling point where they will be voting. It is an offence, it is a crime and it will not be allowed”.

“We have been strategising and restrategising on ways forward to ensure that elections in Ogun state will be devoid of rancor or violence of any sort whatsoever. That is what we have been doing and we want to seize this opportunity to appeal to the good people of Ogun state the gateway state to endeavor to just come out peacefully on Saturday and exercise their franchise, their civic responsibility to vote for people, candidates and parties of their choices”.

“On no account will violence of any sort be tolerated in this state and that is what we have been discussing in the last two, three hours.

“Maybe I need to emphasize this also that on voting day, when people come to the polling booths with their phones, when they approach the polling officer and they want to go in with their phones, they will not be allowed to use their phones to discuss with people or take pictures at that polling point where they will be voting. It is an offence, it is a crime and it will not be allowed.

“We appeal to those people who wish to come there with their phones to maybe switch it off for that one or two minutes, so that everybody would be seen to be acting within the law.”

 

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