By CrossRiverWatch admin
Yesterday during the state governorship and State House of Assembly elections, two boxes containing thumb printed ballot papers, results sheets and other materials in Alomonye polling unit number 006 in Nyanya ward and in polling unit number 007 in Ibiaragidi-Iye in Ibiaragidi ward all of Bekwarra Local Government Area, Cross River State were hijacked after voting by some Policemen, INEC officials and PDP agents who made away with the hijacked materials to an unknown destination.
When CrossRiverWatch visited the scene, some of the PDP members on sighting our reporter with a camera turned him back and threatened to deal with him in the process. Eyewitness however confirmed the incident to our reporter even as the chaos created by the hijack was still palpable.
But the Labor Party, LP and All Progressive Congress, APC agents who spoke with CrossRiverWatch accused the PDP agents of conniving with security and INEC officials and made away with all the election materials after voting had ended. “We had finished counting and were about entering the scores in the results sheets when they packed everything into a Hilux van of the policemen and ran away”, narrates one of the agents.
The other said, “The counting had been concluded when the DCO of the Nigeria Police Force, Bekwarra division fired a shot into the air but still faced stiff resistance from the electorate who wanted the results filled there, after a few minutes of calm the INEC officials went inside the police van colored black and then the PDP agents snatched the ballot boxes, joined the police in the van and they zoomed off. We went to the electoral officer to report but no response from her. This rigging is too much”.
Another party agent who responded said, “After voting had finished, it started raining just when we were about to start counting; when we went inside a shade to start counting only for the PDP agents to begin struggling with the police officer there, trying to coerce him to enter a white Hilux apparently belonging to a state government official.
“When he refused they tapped the INEC officials that packed the remaining unused ballot papers and results sheet, joined them in the Hilux and drove off. We chased them but they disappeared into the bush so we decided to bring the ballot boxes to the area office which the EO refused to collect. As we speak now, The Hilux is at the collation center at community primary school Ububa but the INEC officials are nowhere to be found”.
When CrossRiverWatch visited the area office; the ballot boxes were kept outside the premises with the Electoral Officer, EO declining comment.
A visit to the collation center proved the Hilux was there marked “Project Hope Cross River State Free Health Care Program, Governor’s Office” with a green colored government registration number “CR 886 AO1”, with the collation officer collating results but CrossRiverWatch could not get concrete information regarding the whereabouts of the driver, the PDP agent or INEC staff.
Efforts to hear the story from the PDP perspective was not successful as the chapter secretariat in Abuochiche opposite the Model Primary Health Care center was under lock while no policemen was seen on duty when CrossRiverWatch visited the Divisional Police headquarters in Abuochiche which is seconds away from the INEC area office.
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