The European Union Observation Mission to Nigeria says soldiers barred them from monitoring elections in Rivers State.
The observers made the allegation in their preliminary report in Abuja on Monday .
Addressing journalists , the Chief Observer , Maria Arena , noted that they came to Nigeria on the invitation of INEC to monitor the elections and make recommendations .
Arena , who is a member of the EU Parliament, however , faulted the elections.
She said , “ Observers, including EU observers , were denied access to collation centres in Rivers , apparently by military personnel.
This lack of access for observers compromises transparency and trust in the process .
“ In Rivers , INEC suspended until further notice the elections due to violence in polling units and collation centres , staff being taken hostage and election materials , including results sheets , seized or destroyed by unauthorised persons.
“ There is no doubt that the electoral process there was severely compromised . ”
Arena lamented the violence , underage voting and vote -buying that marred the governorship and House of Assembly elections in some states .
She said the EU deployed 73 observers following voting , counting and the collation of results in 22 states .
The chief observer said they monitored 223 polling units in 81 collation centres.
Arena added , “ Although election operations improved , the elections were also marked by an overall low turnout and violence, including against election officials and voters.
“ However , at eight polling units observed, we saw indications of vote – buying .
Eight cases of obvious underage voting were also observed. Our observers saw that the counting of ballots transparent overall .
“ Positively , in almost all cases , party agents received copies of the result forms, although they were often not displayed.
The environment for these elections has been difficult , with cases of violence and intimidation , including attacks on election administration officials . ”