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Justice Development and Peace/Caritas Anambra State are faith based organization and under the umbrella body of Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria (CCFN). In the last decades, JDPC has continued to participate in the democratic and governance processes of our country Nigeria. In preparation for the 2023 elections in Nigeria, specifically in Anambra state, JDPC Anambra participated in the pre-election and election activities in the state. JDPC Anambra observed the 2023 general election in the 21 local government areas of the State especially in selected flash points. Across the State JDPC deployed 434 stationary and mobile observers to observe the general election.

Opening of polling unit: Generally, there was early massive voters’ turnout across the polling units in Anambra state. INEC officials arrived very late and voting started very late in almost all the polling units with some polling units commencing election as late as 1.20pm. From our findings, it was gathered that there were inadequate means of conveying the election materials and officials to the various polling units as a bus was mean to convey as much as 5 team of election officials and materials to the various polling units. Some of the materials left late from the LGAs to the polling units. Further observations made at polling units was that there was campaign posters and campaigning activities by some party agents who were party canvassers.

Locating polling units: What contributed to the late commencement of voting was the INEC logistics problem with some commuter drivers that carried workers to the location of their work. Some INEC officials found it difficult in locating the ward and polling units that they would work. Some voters could not cast their vote because they found it difficult in locating the newly created polling units. The same happened to those who transferred their voting location.

Commencement of accreditation/voting:

Just like late opening of polling units, accreditation and voting across most of the poling units in Anambra state started very late, in some polling units as late as 1:00pm as seen in Nsunano central school, Otolo III, Ebenator in Nnewi South LGA and other areas across the state. It took relatively an average of 4min to have a voter accredited. Election ended quicker in newly created polling units while old polling units with 500 and above registered voters ended very late, some as late as 10pm in the night.

Deployment of BVAS: 80% of the BVAS assigned to the PUs generally functioned well in most of the polling units, although, some observers noted that some BVAS were faulty. It was also observed that most of the INEC Ad-hoc staff could not upload results from the polling units to the IReV server with the BVAS, in some pooling units, the observers and agents aid the INEC Ad-hoc staff with Hotspot-Wifi but could still not upload the result to the server but rather resorted to sending it offline when all the means of sending them online proved abortive while some of the INEC Ad-hoc staff complaind of having wrong password of uploading to results to the IReV portal. This is as seen in B.S.S Ukpo II polling units with 007, 008, Unity P/S Ukpo 001, 002, 003, 004, Otolo I, cooperative 001, 002 and 003 etc. The observers also witnessed some level of malfunctioning of BVAS in some areas. For instance, there was a breakdown of BVAS at 010  Nodu village  hall, Awka South but INEC officials  brought  another BVAS as at 4pm when some impatient voters  had gone home while others waited.

Assistance to Persons with Disability (PWDs): It was reported that there was a 100% assistance to the PWD that participation in one of the PUs.

Critical Incidents reported: 

  1. Violent attacks/shootings was reported to have taken place on Saturday evening at Orumba North Local Government Council were the results of the Federal House of Representatives was to be announced officially while a heavier experience was had at Nnewi North LGA where the Senatorial results were to be announced. These critical incidents delayed the announcement of results as the opposition parties’ supporters were attacking one another.
  2. Destruction of ballot Boxes: At Umueje Ayamelum LGA Felix Chiedube and group destroyed ballot boxes on the mantra of no election in Biafran land.
  • Intimidation of voters: There were few cases of intimation and coercing of voters by security and party agents that led to disenfranchisement of voters.
  1. Vote buying: 33% of the Observers both stationery and mobile reported excessive vote buying by agents of APC, PDP, YPP, APGA etc. at the most PUs. Many party agents and canvassers engaged in vote buying across the state asking voters for account number.
  2. At 043 Enekwasumpu Nkpor an INEC Ad-hoc staff deleted voter’s information in the BVAS. This generated commotion. ‘I called Area Command Ogidi, he directed me to DPO Ogidi. He said he will call me back but never called’.
  3. Many polling units did not see INEC officials nor vote.
  • In Awada 04 -10 and 003 INEC officials after voting did not count the votes nor uploaded the result but left with BVAS machine dumping the ballot boxes.

Security: The security situation in different areas visited was air tight as both the Nigeria Police, NSCDC and Nigeria Army officers were seen patrolling and bringing sanity to the process. However, there was relatively not enough security for the election as some but few of the polling units did not witness the presence of any security agent from the beginning to the end of the poll. Eg is the Inland town 8, polling unit 021, open space, besides Learning field, Omagba Onitsha Anambra state.


Closure of the PU (including Sorting, Collation, Announcement, signing of poll results and transmission of results):  100% of the observers reported that there was sorting, collation and announcement of the results but at the end, the results were not uploaded to the INEC’ server with the BVAS and it was not posted to the walls of the center but some party agents signed the results before the PO departed with them

Collation of results at the LGA: the collation officers at the LGA level as also observed by JDPC Anambra were not adequately trained as they only received a shabby training prior to their deployment. Their logistics were not also well planned as so many collation officers were left without transportation or any means of transportation to their various LGAs



The overall conduct of the election was below standard and did not conform to national best practice judging by various factors like lateness to polling units leading to poor starting and disenfranchisement of voters. The act of not uploading results to the IRev portal from the polling units gave room for massive electoral malpractices and rigging.



In view of the above observation, JDPC Anambra makes the following recommendations:

  1. INEC should plan her logistics properly or engage a competent consultant, commuter drivers or company to handle distribution and conveyance of ad-hoc staff and election materials.
  2. Malfunction of the BVAS should receive prompt attention.
  3. INEC ad-hoc staff including collation officers should receive proper and grounded training before deployment not a clash-program or using the fire brigade approach.
  4. Polling units that have more than 500 voters should be delineated to lesser or new units.
  5. INEC should adhere to the electoral act 2022 especially in ensuring upload of poll results from the polling units.
  6. INEC should learn to be transparent and independent by ensuring that they live to their word in the areas of early commencement of voting, immediate online transmission of result by providing the original login codes to the Presiding Officers and strictly ensuring the results are transferred before commencement of upward collations.