The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has lost nine smart card readers, 5616 ballot papers, result sheets and cash in the just-concluded court-ordered re- run election in Yakurr/Abi Federal and Abi State Constituency of Cross River State.
A statement issued by the management of the commission and made available to newsmen on Saturday also indicates that the supervisory presiding officer (SPO) was kidnapped and election materials hijacked by gunmen.
"Election was not conducted in eight polling units of the riverine area of Afafani/Igonigoni Ward, the statement continued, adding, however, that the election was held in 25 out of the 33 units of the re -run exercise.
The kidnapped victim has regained freedom, the statement also stated, but the election materials were not recovered, disclosing that apart from the policeman that sustained injury, no life was lost.
The statement also explained that there were some challenges in the field which included poor network to facilitate the smooth running of the smart card readers in some areas as well as difficulties of the large crowd of voters to adhere to queuing instructions.
However, the INEC statement continued, "the commission has cancelled the election in Afafanyi/Igongoni Ward consisting of eight polling units and 5616 registered voters due to the violent abduction of the SPO.â€
INEC which said it does not reward impunity and violence also condemned the snatching of ballot papers, result sheets and smart card readers but assured that result from the polling units would reflect in the final collation and declaration of results.
INEC team according to the statement was led by the supervisory national commissioner in charge of Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Delta States, Dr Mohammed Lecky, and the election was also monitored by the Cross River State commissioner of police, Mr Nkereuwem Akpan.