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Nigeria's electoral commission's website hacked

Voting in Nigeria has been marred with equipment failures and violence, forcing voting to be extended.

Police officers stand by as officials prepare voting materials at the Independent National Electoral Commission offices in the oil hub of Port Harcourt ahead of presidential elections on 28 March. Picture: AFP.

NIGERIA - Hackers have breached the website of the Nigeria Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) potentially compromising the fairness of the outcome.

The voting in Nigeria has been marred with equipment failures and violence, forcing voting to be extended to tomorrow in some areas.

Hand-held card readers which scan voter's biometric data failed at various polling stations, with a hacking group called Team Nigerian Cyber Army, taking responsibility for hacking.

President Goodluck Jonathan tried for almost an hour to register in his home village of Otuoke before coming back a second time due to a technical failure.

He had to be accredited manually and eventually cast his ballot paper.

But Jonathan has refused to pin the blame on anyone.

"I don't blame anyone because I am the president of the country and as a nation we have different departments in government who have responsibilities."

The Ruling People's Democratic party says the poor working condition of the card readers in Saturday's elections across the country could have been avoided, if the IEC had listened to advice from well-meaning Nigerians and organisations, including the party, regarding the use of the card readers.

However, the opposition presidential candidate of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari, has expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly elections nationwide.

General Buhari said the hiccups experienced in few states over the card readers were not enough to cast aspersions on the election.

GUNMEN KILL 15 DURING TENSE ELECTION

Gunmen killed 15 people including an opposition politician near polling stations in northeast Nigeria on Saturday, casting an ominous shadow over the closest electoral contest since the end of military rule in 1999.

The tense race puts the Nigerian president against Buhari for the favour of an electorate divided along a complex mix of ethnic, regional and in some cases religious lines.

The poll is seen as the first election in Africa's most populous nation in which an opposition candidate has a serious chance of unseating the incumbent, and widespread fears it could trigger violence are already becoming reality.

Islamist Boko Haram insurgents launched several attacks on voters in the northeast, killing three in Yobe state and three more in Gombe state, police said.

Shortly afterwards, at least eight people, including the opposition parliamentary candidate for Dukku in Gombe, were killed by unidentified gunmen, a spokesperson for Buhari's APC said.

The militants, who are trying to revive a medieval Islamic caliphate in religiously mixed Nigeria, reject democracy and their leader Abubakar Shekau has threatened to kill those who go to vote.

A string of military victories by troops from Nigeria and neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger has reclaimed much of the territory the Islamists controlled earlier this year, but they retain the ability to mount deadly attacks on civilians.

The governor of Borno state in the northeast said 25 people had been killed in an assault on the remote village of Buratai on Friday night.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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