Media Observers Barred from Collation Centres

Press Release

The Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development’s (CJID) Campus Reporter observers have been refused access to collation centres in the 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections. Where concerned, the observers are the only ones within their jurisdiction and as such the organization cannot be said to have more than one representative as directed by INEC.

The observers have been waiting through rain, violence and damning conditions to ensure that collated results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are accurately reported to the public. However, some observers report that they are being denied access, and asked to vacate the premises where the collation of election results is taking place.

Kwara Central Senatorial Collation Centre denied access to one observer on the ground because his observer tag only bears “field” and not “Collation Centre”. At the Sokoto South Senatorial District Collation Centre, an observer was escorted out of the collation centre by an officer of the Department of State Services (DSS) despite verifying his identity as a media observer.

Additionally, at the Edo State INEC headquarters, CJID’s media observer was kicked out by the Chief Security Officer who claimed that the organisation was not on his list of registered observers.

CJID decries this poor treatment of her INEC-accredited media observers tasked with observing the elections to ensure the validity and transparency of the process. We urge that all observers should be allowed to go about their duty without any form of harassment in line with INEC’s guidelines.