3:26 – At Unit 1, Ward 8, Egor local government, voting has ended.
3:26 – A voter (names withheld for security reasons) has told newsmen that he is hiding for safety in Etsako West LG, Ward 5 Unit 10 because he took pictures and challenged some party agents for hijacking and thumb-printing on ballot papers.
3:23 – The APC and PDP have been trading blames for financial inducement of the electorate. But Paul John, a voter, said both parties are guilty.
3:20 – Counting of ballot papers ongoing at Ward 8, Unit 24, Oredo LGA
3:15 – Ballot papers allegedly carted away by police officers.”We told them to stop but they ran away,”army officer at Etsako East told newsmen.
3:10 – Soldiers abandoned military blockade in middle of elections.
Most of the security checkpoints mounted by soldiers have been left open even though the election was still ongoing.
Soldiers had either completely left the places or are hiding under shades where they are not seen while vehicles pass freely.
However, it was observed few places where the military were still on duty.
3:00 – At Uselu, the convoy of the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, patrolling across the major roads, stopped to arrest travellers on their way to Lagos.
“Don’t seize the vehicle. Let them park and wait till it’s 6 o’clock.”
2:58 – Voters watching as INEC officials sort the ballot papers at Ward 8, Unit 25, Oredo Local Government Area
2:56 – Sorting of ballot papers begins at Ward 8, Unit 5, Oredo LGA. Accreditation and voting ended at about 2:15pm.
Total number of registered voters: 746; total number of accredited voters: 222 Police, NSCDC operatives are watching the process.
2:40 – Some card readers pre-programmed to malfunction – Ex-minister Arc Mike Onolemenme
2:08 – At Ward 1, unit 8, Error local government, voting is nearing conclusion
1:58: PDP Candidate Ize-Iyamu continues to protest the presence of El-Rufai, Ambode in Benin.
1:50 – Fighting in Irrua
Violence broke out as voting progressed on Wednesday at Ikekato Ward 4, Unit 1, at Irrua, Esan Central, as supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress clashed during voting. The attackers were reportedly of the PDP, and the area is dominated by the party’s supporters.
Security forces have rushed to the scene.
1:42 – At Unit 1, Ward 7 in Egor Local Government, a police officer asks those who have voted to leave the polling station, but the people ignored.
1:40 -There are reports of stolen card readers – Oshiomhole
1:32 – Female police officer arrested for collecting bribe from a chieftain of the PDP at unit 28, ward 7 in Ikpoba Okhai LGA. She was reportedly caught by APC supporters who handed her over to the police.
1: 25 – Reports have it that despite security presence at the polling units, transactions on buying and selling of votes continued unhindered in some units monitored on Wednesday.
It was observed at Igueke community, in Orhiowon Local Government Area, a crowd of young men distributing cash to influence voting in the early hours of Wednesday.
Some of the voters at unit 26 and 27 in Iduenbo Ward, would first visit the distributor of the cash encircled by members of the group before going to queue for voting.
In Auchi, Etsakor West local government, the practice is rampant, as cash was distributed openly to voters.
It was also gathered that the voters first received N1000 before queuing. They got a balance of N1000 after voting for the candidate who paid the money.
An observer who spoke to newsmen on Wednesday said the practice was rampant at units 7, 9 and 10 Ward 1.
“As I speak to you now, they are doing it and as I talk to you, they are hearing me talking to you about,” he said.
But the Social Democratic Party has lamented the use of funds to buy votes in the election.
Publicity Secretary of the party, Oshiobugie Bonvist, said he had observed the buying of votes himself at different polling units.
“The election is very peaceful and orderly except the buying of votes,” Mr. Bonvist said.
“They are sharing N2000 each and I observe that it is the ruling APC that is doing it right now.”
He noted that the election is going well and hoped that it would remain so until the end of the election.
1:12 – A press statement by the PDP
We have become aware that senior members of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC), in collusion with certain staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have started writing fake & fictitious results as part of their plan to manipulate the Edo State Gubernatorial Election which is taken place today.
2. We are aware that these APC members are working in collusion with Amina Zakari, an INEC national official; Imoudu Sule, Edo State INEC PRO, the Delta State REC, and the National Deputy Director of Operations.
3. We are also aware that these officials have distributed millions of Naira to the Local Government Electoral Officers to get them to write false & fictitious results in favour of APC even before votes are cast.
4. It is necessary to warn the Nigerian public that our Party will resist any attempts by the Ruling Party to subvert the will of the people by any engagement in the substitution of electoral materials.
5. We urge all well-meaning Nigerians to counsel INEC and the Ruling Party to refrain from acting in a manner that may lead to the breakdown of law and other.
6. May God bless Edo State. May God bless Nigeria.
1:10 – Faulty card readers delaying accreditation and voting at Oredo Ward 1
1:05 – PDP warns its agents to inspect ink and confirm news of the use of magic ink that disappears after voting.
12:51 – Governor Adams Oshiomhole on the queue to vote at unit 1, ward 10, Iyamho Primary School
12:37 – At Ward 6, Unit 1, Irrua, in Esan Central, the card reader is not functioning. Consequently, INEC officials resorted to manual accreditation of voters.
12: 27 – Mr. Ize-Iyamu, who did not queue for his turn when he arrived at his unit 26, Ward 5, voting point, was immediately given the chance to exercise his franchise as soon as he arrived.
He said the exercise was going smoothly and that the card readers within his community were working perfectly well.
He, however, expressed doubts that the same was witnessed in order centres, as telephone networks were so bad he could not reach out to his agents to determine the state of things.
He expressed hope that the peaceful conduct would continue throughout the election.
12:20pm – But for a quick security intervention, the safety of election observers would have been jeopardized, as thugs tried to disrupt voting activities at Unit 26 and 27 at Iduenbo Ward, Orhiowon Local Government Area.
The scene of the skirmish was not far from Iguododo, the village of the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
Officials of Cleen Foundation were at the unit to observe the election when they observed some of the thugs create a scene.
As they tried to take pictures, the thugs assailed them, but they fled in their vehicle leaving one of them behind.
One of the officials, Chigo Okoro, told newsmen that the thugs pursued them until they got to Iguododo. He said they were rescued by officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
The security officials immediately escorted the observers back to the scene of the crisis to secure the life of the Cleen official left behind.
12:05 – PDP candidate Pastor Ize-Iyamu casts his vote.
12:00 noon – Mr. Oyegun after voting:
“I am very pleasantly surprised because this is the best turnout, I’ve always voted here, this is the best turnout I’ve ever experienced. It presumes that something good is about to happen, that people are keen to express their democratic options.
“It’s peaceful so far, I’ve been watching on TV.”
At the PU where he voted, it was observed APC members compiling a list and giving out money (a beneficiary said it was N10,000 each) to voters. A fight almost broke out in the process.
When Mr. Oyegun was confronted with the development, he replied:
“When I look at a place like this I don’t know how you can give someone money. How do you know somebody has voted, given how secret it truly is, nobody will know how you’ve thumb printed.
“Please is there somebody sharing money let me go to him and take my own.”
On the security arrangement for the election, the APC chairman described it as “lovely.”
“Well, I’m national chairman of the party and it was something that was of grave concern for us all the time. All the security agencies have given us iron clad assurance that there will be no incident, at least, no major
Matthew Urhoghide, senator representing Edo Central, after voting at PU 004, George Idaa Model Primary School in Benin, said the issue of vote-buying by the APC should be nipped in the bud.
“There is criticisms for some of the things going on, particularly the horse trading and the haggling, the touting that is going on,” he told newsmen.
“It’s very obvious in this Unit 4 and, of course, I think this is obscene. The APC is doing it with a whole lot of impudence.”
11:36 – APC Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, arriving and casting his vote at PU001, Staff Training School, Benin.
11:30 – PDP candidate Ize-Iyamu, says APC governors are currently in Edo, and his supporters will protest if they don’t leave.
“I heard that that Ambode and El Rufai are in Edo,” he said. “If there is restriction of movement for indigenes, what are those governors doing in Edo state?”
“So they should please be advised to go back to their state because if we continue to hear of their presence, we will be forced to call our people to protest about it because they have no business being in Edo and they should be advised to leave for their good.”
The 54-year-old pastor also expressed confidence in his party’s ability to win the election, saying: “I am very confident that we will win this election overwhelmingly.
“If you do a sample here, you will find out that it is one way. Getting anybody to announce fake results or to steal the ballot boxes, there is no way APC or any other party can win.
“God has ordained us to win and voters have come out in their numbers so I believe that we will win overwhelmingly in all the local governments.”
11: 15 – INEC card reader malfunctions at Ikpoba Okha, ward 5, unit 6 has malfunctioned due to network service failure.
Official of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has requested new SIM cards, but none is yet to be provided
11:05 – After casting his vote, APC candidate Godwin Obaseki told journalist he had confidence in INEC conducting a free and fair poll.
“We’d had an isolated incident from somewhere in Edo Central but I think that is being handled.
“My expectation is that at the end of the day, the exercise will be peaceful because what is important is that we don’t lose lives, we don’t spill blood because of election. My hope is that we a very peaceful election and at the end of the day we strengthen our electoral process.”
11:00 – PDP candidate, Andrew Ize-Iyamu, yet to vote at his Iguododo village.
He took out time to move around his community greeting elders and community leaders.
Voting commenced in the area AT about 8.30 a.m. and everywhere is calm and peaceful.
While doing this, cameras were not allowed to take pictures.
10: 55 – APC Candidate Godwin Obaseki casting his vote
10: 52 – PDP supporters hold prayer session at polling unit
10: 48 – An election monitor and the Coordinator, Network on Good Governance, Peter Nwadichi told newsmen that “The process has been peaceful in the sense that materials came on time. As we speak people are being accredited, voting is taking place simultaneously.”
“For now, INEC has gotten it right. The card readers have not malfunctioned, they are working perfectly for now. We have not seen anybody that complained that the card reader is giving them problem, so let us just assume that the card reader process is going on smoothly.”
10:45 – APC candidate Mr. Obaseki, speaking in Pidgin English, said he is impressed with the voter turnout at his polling unit.
“Na my papa area where dem born me. So a lot of my family dey around here and everybody dey happy say governorship candidate come from their own area,” he said.
Mr. Obaseki is queued behind his wife. There are still 26 people before them.
“The queue for my unit is still very long, it will take some time but I no mind at all. Everything dey very calm, peaceful, no trouble at all.”
10:30 – To ease the process, INEC has announced that accreditation and voting will hold simultaneously.
How to contact INEC in case of emergency
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has released hotlines Nigerians can call to report any emergency during the Edo state governorship election.
According to the voter register released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the number of would-be voters is 1, 925, 105.
Edo State has 18 local governments with 2,627 polling units. To make voting easier, INEC broke down the polling units to 4011 points across the 192 wards.
Nineteen candidates are vying for the ticket to the Government House. However, the prominent contenders are: candidates are Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Adviser Shedrack Nowamagbe of the United Progressive Party and Osaro Onaiwu of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).
A total of 25,000 police officers were deployed across the state to ensure peace and security during the polls, while 44 observer groups were accredited by the Independent National Electoral Commission as election monitors.