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INEC reconsidering safekeeping of ballot papers in CBN’s vaults

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By Yusuf Alli, Onyedi Ojiabor and Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is considering alternative storage facilities for the safe-keeping of ballot papers and other sensitive materials for next year’s elections.

The sensitive materials were kept in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) storage facility ahead of previous polls.

INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu told reporters in Abuja that the commission has started exploring the alternatives to douse the controversy and perception crisis generated by the entry of the Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele into the presidential race on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

However, Yakubu, who maintained that the electoral agency will not allow the perception crisis to jeopardise the conduct of the election, said there is nothing to suggest that the integrity of the apex bank is at stake.

Yakubu, who spoke at a quarterly consultative meeting with the media, said INEC was committed to a rancour-free and fair poll.

He said: “We use CBN for storage and movement of sensitive materials. There has not been anything to doubt CBN. On the context in which the events are unfolding, our director of Litigation is in court as I speak with you because we were joined as a party. We always refrain from commenting on matters before the court.

“But we have started thinking about alternatives in case we need to change the present arrangement on the storage and movement of our sensitive materials for the next election.”

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