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Nigerian parties criticise slow pace of election count

Nigeria was to resume announcing presidential election results amid complaints of irregularities as opposition parties criticised the slow pace at which the results were being uploaded on to the election commission's website.

Saturday's vote to pick a successor to President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to be close, with candidates from two parties that have alternated in power since the end of army rule in 1999 facing an unusually strong challenge from a minor party nominee.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released official results from only one of 36 states.

INEC officials first announce the results in the states themselves before going to the federal capital Abuja, where they present the final tallies once political party agents have signed off on them.

Six states had announced their results by early on Monday, which showed ruling All Progressives Congress party candidate Bola Tinubu and main opposition People's Democratic Party contender winning in three states each.

Tinubu led in the popular vote while Labour Party's Peter Obi came in third.

To become president, a candidate needs a simple majority and to garner a quarter of the votes in at least 24 states.

By 9am (1930 AEDT), INEC had uploaded results from 52,236 polling units out of a total 178,846, its website showed.

INEC apologised for these glitches in a statement on Sunday.

"We take full responsibility for the problems and regret the distress that they have caused the candidates, political parties and the electorate," INEC said.

All three parties complained of irregularities. Obi's Labour Party lambasted the electoral body for the failure, in some places, to upload results directly from each polling unit to its website, as it had promised to do to guarantee transparency.

Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC chairman, said the release of tallies would resume at 11am on Monday.

There have been incidents of violence and intimidation, but seemingly not on the scale of previous elections.

In northern Kano state, police said suspected thugs had attacked a campaign office for a smaller opposition party and set the building on fire, killing two people.

Police said they had killed one of the suspects and arrested four.