The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said its ad-hoc officials were abducted, taken to an unknown destination and forced to thumb-print on ballot papers during Saturday’s bye-election for Ngor Okpala State Constituency, Imo State.
The Vanguard newspaper quoted the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Imo State, Chukwuemeka Ezeonu, as saying this while briefing reporters on Saturday.
According to the Vanguard report, Mr Ezeonu said the affected ballot papers would not be accepted by INEC.
Mr Ezeonu said the election officials were blindfolded by their abductors.
“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 ad-hoc staff were blindfolded and taken to an unknown destination where they were compelled to thump print the ballot papers,” Mr Ezeonu said.
The electoral commissioner said there were violent disruption of polls and attacks on election officials in some polling units.
He said security agencies “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 wish to reassure 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 voters,” Mr Ezeonu added.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999