Introduction  The
Independent National Electoral Commission (hereinafter referred to as INEC)
conducted the Osun Governorship Election on the 22ndday of September,

The Reference The Nigerian Bar Association Election Working
Group was mandated by the Nigerian Bar Association to observe the elections,
ascertain and be able to comment on the extent of the conformity of the
processes and procedures for the conduct of elections in Nigeria with regional
and international standards and best practices. For the Osun State Governorship
Election, its terms of reference encompassed the following:   1. To carry out a pre- and post-election
assessment of the state of preparedness for the conduct of the gubernatorial
elections in Osun State and make determination on whether all the political
parties, candidates and other stakeholders are afforded the rights and freedom
to campaign and canvass for votes in a free and fair atmosphere.

2. To observe relevant aspects of the election activities and
conduct of the Gubernatorial Elections and assess the state of preparedness of
the Independent National Electoral Commission, the security agencies and other
relevant stakeholders. 

3. To consider various factors that may affect the conduct
and credibility of the electoral process as a whole.

4. To determine whether conditions exist for a free
expression of the will of the people. 5. To propose to the Independent National
Electoral Commission such required actions on institutional, procedural and
other matters as would assist in advancing the electoral process. 

Deployment of Observers 
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) accredited the NBA
Election Working Group (NBA-EWG) to observe the Osun State Governorship Election.
In consonance with the said accreditation, the NBA-EWG was deployed to Osun
State on Wednesday, 19th September, 2018. The NBA-EWG was joined by the
Chairmen of the five branches of the Nigerian Bar Association in Osun State
which include the Chairmen of Osogbo, Ikirun, Ilesa, Ile-Ife and Iwo branches
of the NBA.  The NBA Election Working
Group deployed its members to various Local Government Areas in the three
Senatorial Districts of Osun State comprising Ede North, Ede South, Irepodun,
Osogbo, Ayedaade, Irewole, Isokan, Egbedore, Iwo,Boluwaduro, Boripe, Ejigbo,
Ife Central, Ife East, Ife North, Ife South, Atakumosa West, Ifelodun, Ila,
Ilesha East, Ilesha West, Obokun, and Oriade Pre-Election formalities There was
a pre-election protocol on electoral education for Observers organized by the
INEC on Thursday 20thSeptember, 2018 at Aurora Event Centre, Osogbo-Ikirun
Road, Osun State. The Election Observers were briefed on the processes and
procedures guiding the conduct of the election.

Political Parties Forty-Eight (48) Political Parties
participated in the 22ndSeptember, 2018 Osun State Governorship Election. 

Arrival of INEC Officials The INEC officials arrived at their
various polling units between the hour of 6:45am and 7:05am with adequate voting
materials.  Provision of Materials 

INEC provided the requisite materials for the polling units.
In all the polling units observed, the Presiding Officers and Supervisors
confirmed that they received the election materials. Opening of Polls After
setting up of polling stations, the presiding officers read out the voting
guidelines to the voters. Most polling units opened between the hour of
7:00am/7:30am as observed by the NBA-EWG. 

In Ife Central Local government at Akrabata Polling Zones,
Ward 10, unit 1-12, the INEC officials arrived at 6:50am. There were four INEC
Officials in each polling unit. The Presiding Officers in each unit addressed
them by stating the guidelines of the election. Voting and accreditation
started at about 8:00am simultaneously.

Voters’ Turn Out. Voters’ turnout was impressive at most of
the polling units. However, in some polling units like Ilesa Ward 09, Unit 09,
the total voters expected was 588 but the total votes cast was 552, Also Ward 9
Unit 6B total number of voters expected was 573 but votes cast was a total of
187.  Also, at Ward 10, Unit 12A and B,
expected voters were 1,213 but the total votes cast was 369. In most of the
polling units observed, there were significant turnouts of senior citizens,
women and persons with disabilities. 
Some of the Presiding Officers allowed the Senior Citizens, nursing
mothers and persons with disabilities to cast their votes before other
voters.   Agents of Political
Parties  Some of the Political Parties
deployed their Party Agents to most of the polling units. However, there were
more party agents in the urban areas than in the rural areas. The Card
Readers  The Card Readers worked
significantly well. However, in few of the polling units observed by the
NBA-EWG, the Card Readers could not authenticate the finger print with the
voter’s card. In such situations, the voters were allowed to vote by ticking
the non-authentication box. But when the card reader did not recognize/verify
the voter’s card, such persons were not allowed to vote.  While in Ede North Local Government Area,
Unit 01, ward 01, two persons were not allowed to vote because the card reader
could not authenticate their cards; they were however disqualified from voting.

In Ode village, ward 2, Unit 9, the card reader had network
challenges in reading voters’ fingerprints but there was a technician on ground
to resolve the issue.  At Ede South Local
Government Area, Unit 10, Ward 4, the card reader became faulty at about
8:20am; a technician was called in and the malfunction was resolved at about
8:40am. The elderly also had challenges with the card readers in the area of
detection of their finger prints which caused some delays, but they were later
accredited using the register of voters to cross check their passport
photographs which enabled them to vote.

Security Issues 
NBA-EWG observed a marked improvement in the conduct and disposition of
the security agencies on election duty in Osun State. Most of them were
courteous and did not interfere with the electoral process. The different
security personnel provided adequate security for the polls. In most of the
polling units observed by NBA-EWG, the Security personnel comprising of
Nigerian Police, the Civil Defense Corps, Nigerian Prisons Service, NDLEA,
Nigerian Customs, Immigration, deployed to the polling units, reported on time.
Most of the polling units had adequate security. The Nigerian Military and
Mobile Police Force provided security at the entrance and exit to Osun State as
well as at the boundaries of Local Government Areas.

Conduct of Voters Despite the envisaged fear, anxiety and
uncertainty occasioned by pre-election build-up, the people of Osun State went
out in significant numbers to the polling units to cast their votes. Most of
the voters understood the electoral process and conducted themselves very well
and this accounted for the peaceful atmosphere that was witnessed during and
after the electoral activities. Influence of Money: We did not observe any
incident of vote buying, inducement or exchange of money.

SUGGESTIONS: 1. INEC should put in place an accountability
mechanism that rewards diligence and sanctions negligence. 

2. INEC should also post experienced, courageous and
knowledgeable supervisors to the wards and Local Governments to assist in
tackling logistics challenges in a way that does not undermine the electoral

3. INEC should provide more Card readers and technicians.

4. The Ballot boxes appear small and cannot accommodate most
of the ballot papers. There is need to provide bigger ballot boxes for subsequent

COMMENDATION: 1. NBA-EWG commends the people of Osun State
for their peaceful conduct during the election. To a large extent the process
was peaceful, orderly and successful.

2. NBA-EWG commends the Nigerian Police Force and the other security
agencies that provided security for the elections. 

3. The display of voters list at the polling station which
enabled individuals to cross check and identify their names and numbers on the
list before approaching the Electoral officers for accreditation and voting,
eased the process. This was commendable. 

4. The adoption of accreditation and voting simultaneously
has fast-tracked the process and consequently reduced the tension occasioned by
frustration and impatience which could have ignited violence. This also was


The conduct of this election is a great improvement from what
we have witnessed in the past. However, the election was declared inconclusive
by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and a rerun is scheduled to hold
on the 27thof September, 2018.

Tawo E. Tawo SAN Chairman