By EMMANUEL OLONIRUHA
ABUJA- The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will begin the national collation of 2023 presidential election by Sunday 6pm.
Its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this as he declared open the 2023 General Election National Collation Centre, on Sunday in Abuja.
Yakubu said that the commission expects that results from states would start arriving the national collation centre by 6.00 p.m.
“As we await the arrival of this State Coalition Officers for the Presidential Election (SCOPE), we will now take a break and resume at 6.00 p.m.
“We are certain that by 6.00p.m., one or two of the scopes will arrive with the results, so we begin the process of collation,” Yakubu said.
He said that as soon as the results arrived, the commission would commence the collation all days all nights.
Yakubu said the collation of the presidential election result would be done at four various levels, namely at the ward level, 774 local government and 36 states and FCT and finally at the national collation centre.
The INEC chairman said that thereafter the final results would be announced by him, who would serve as the National Returning Officer.
“Having set the ground rules from today the collation center is hereby declared open until the final determination of the 2023 presidential elections.
“During the course of proceedings, there may be interlude or adjournments. This will be announced by the returning officer as the need arises.
“As soon as any of the SCOPES arrives, the process of collection will begin.
“Once the process begins the collation center will be open all days and nights subject only to short breaks as may be announced by the returning officer.
Yakubu appealed to all political parties and media organisations to draw their figures only from the official results, released by the Commission as the only body constitutionally responsible for releasing official election figures.
He said that everything regarding the results collation and announcement would be done openly within the collation centre.
He said that another venue within International Conference Centre (ICC) had been prepared to handle news conference, not related to the results collation and announcement.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Yakubu also set ground rules for the results collation process (NAN)