Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has declared open the national collation centre in Abuja.
INEC Chairman during the event on Sunday also set the ground rules for the proceedings.
“On behalf of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), I welcome you all to the formal opening of the 2023 Presidential Election Results Collation Centre”, he said.
“As some of you are aware, the collation of presidential election results in Nigeria is done at four levels after the conclusion of voting, counting and recording of results at the Polling Unit level. The results are first tallied and collated at the 8,809 Registration Areas (or Wards).
“The collated Wards level results are tallied and collated at the 774 Local Government Areas nationwide. Thereafter, they are tallied and collated at each of the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The collated figures for each State and FCT are finally collated here in Abuja where the announcement of the outcome of the election is made.
“As we commence the concluding processes, it is my duty to explain the procedure and set the ground rules for the proceedings as follows:
“All accredited polling agents, observers, the media, the diplomatic community and security agencies should adhere to the sitting positions assigned to them;
“Results for each State of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) shall be presented by the State Collation Officer for the Presidential Election (SCOPE) who also served as the Collation Officer at State/FCT level;
“After collating the result at the State level, the SCOPE shall be accompanied to Abuja by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) and security agencies;
“On arrival at the Collation Centre, the SCOPE shall be received by the Collation Secretariat which shall organise the sequence of presentation;
“The Returning Officer shall invite the SCOPE, accompanied by the REC, to the seat provided for the presentation of the result;
“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;
“The Returning Officer requests the SCOPE to submit the original copy of the EC8D;
“When all the SCOPES have presented their results, the Returning Officer shall display the sealed copies of the Results sheets – EC8DA (Summary of Results of Elections on State-by-State Basis), EC8E (the Declaration of Results of the Elections) and EC40G(3) (summary of registered voters in polling units where elections were cancelled or not held)”, he said.
According to the INEC boss, “the Returning Officer then completes Form EC8DA and announces the votes scored by each party and thereafter invites the polling agents to endorse the Form;
“The Returning Officer then completes EC40G(3) and compares it with Form EC8DA to ascertain if any of the candidates have satisfied the requirements of the law to proceed with a declaration;
“If satisfied, the Returning Officer completes Form EC8E and makes a declaration of the winner; and
“The Returning Officer invites the party agents to receive duplicate copies of Forms EC8DA and EC8E”.
He appealed to political parties and the media to draw their figures only from the figures released by INEC as the only body.
The centre is located at International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja.