By Jonathan Ugbal
The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC Adhoc staff registration in Obudu local government area has been concluded with cries of extortion and irregularities by staff.
The nationwide exercise which lasted three days CrossRiverWatch gathered was to recruit and train Adhoc staff for the rescheduled general elections.
Students who spoke with CrossRiverWatch on condition of anonymity questioned the rationale behind the two hundred naira collected for the legal form (oath taking form) and deliberate frustration of some people even when they were yet to be shortlisted.
“The Electoral Officer says we will all be recruited so long as we wrote our names on the attendance list” says one. “I suspect foul play, we are not yet shortlisted and they demand for us to sign the undertaking? In the INEC website, it is stated the whole process is absolutely free.” adds another.
CrossRiverWatch logged onto www.inecnigeria.org and clicked on the Adhoc staff recruitment link and the statement was underlined thus; “Please note that the application is free of charge”.
At the Senator Greg Ngaji lecture theatre located inside the Federal College of Education, Obudu venue of the training, INEC officials were reluctant to speak on the issue with some even denying it before referring CrossRiverWatch to the electoral officer, Offiong Udo.
When contacted, the electoral officer who was reluctant to speak on the issue however said in a stressed tone “as you can see, we have no legal department or public relations department here, I am only the EO, and on that go to Calabar and ask them, I only do as I am told if you ask of the Permanent Voters Card PVC I can say those who did the Continuous Voter Registration CVR, their cards are not ready, please let me be I am tired.” he said.
While leaving the premises of the INEC Area Office, a staff who threatened assaulting our reporter was overheard talking to another in Bette language with a strong Bendi accent that the money was meant for the courts as it would have been quite expensive for the applicants to go to the courts themselves but stopped short when asked if it were legal and right to hand out the oath forms and collect money before a shortlist is published.
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