Hundreds of ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Saturday’s Imo by-election for Ngor Okpala State Constituency have been abducted, and taken to an unknown destination were they were forced to thumbprint on the ballot papers.
The INEC Imo state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Professor Chukwuemeka Ezeonu, disclosed this Sunday while briefing newsmen on the happenings around the bye-election.
The REC warned that those ballot papers from the abducted INEC ad-hoc staff, would not be accepted by the NEC.
He said: “We have received the report of violence of election and disruption of polls on some polling units and attacks on our personnel.”
He said that so far no casualty has been reported.
He said: “Security men have been up and doing to rescue some of our staff trapped in the violence. We remain grateful to them and pray for them to succeed in the work they are doing.
“We have noticed with great worries an abduction of some of our Ad-hoc staff with the election materials towards the end of the polls. While the earlier violence started with the snatching of election materials it ended with the abduction of our staff, ballot papers and materials. Some of our abducted Adhoc staff were blindfolded and taken to an unknown destination where they were compelled to thump print the ballot papers.”
The REC reassured the general public that the results manufactured from unknown places will not be collected.
The number of votes cast must be tallied with the number of accredited votes.
Meanwhile the National Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party Senator Samuel Anyanwu has condemns the abduction Of INEC Staff and stealing of sensitive materials.
Anyanwu described as despicable and fraudulent the hijacking of INEC sensitive materials by political thugs suspected to be loyal to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said, “the stealing of the INEC materials came after the news had gone to the public that the PDP candidate was leading in virtually all the polling booths and electoral wards in Ngor Okpala LGA.”
He maintains that for the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Blyden Amajirionwu to be defeated in his own polling booth is a confirmation that the PDP candidate, Hon Jeff Nwachukwu was truly ahead of his closest challenger.
Anyanwu therefore calls on the security agencies in the state to immediately apprehend those behind the stealing and hijack of the election materials, while appealing to PDP supporters to remain calm.
The PDP National Scribe added that his party will never accept anything less than free, fair and credible election, while commending party faithful for resisting all intimidations by APC to rig the poll.