Nigeria's election was ‘peaceful’ despite isolated incidences of violence and malpractice, the African Union (AU) observer mission said Monday.

‘Overall, the process was largely peaceful and orderly and in conformity with Nigeria's legal framework,’ the observer mission said in a statement.

But the AU noted isolated reports of violence and of destruction of electoral materials in some of the West African nation's 36 states.

The Situation Room, a coalition of civil society groups that jointly monitored Saturday's polls, said that at least 39 people were killed across Nigeria on election day.

The group placed the number of election-related deaths since political campaigns began in October at 260 people.

Security officials confirmed that Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram launched two attacks in two north-eastern states in an attempt to disrupt the election - but there were no fatalities.

Both the AU and the Civil Society Situation Room reported electoral malpractice, including voter intimidation and theft of ballot boxes.

 The presidential and legislative election, which had been unexpectedly delayed by a week from the original date of February 16, is seen as a contest between incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and his main rival, former vice president Atiku Abubakar.

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