Etche Polls: Over 60 Persons Arrested For Alleged Electoral Misconduct

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Estako By-election, Edo, INECOver 60 persons have been arrested by a combined team of the police, soldiers and men of the civil defence, during the re-run elections into the Etche/Omuma Federal Constituency that took place in Rivers state.

Although the election appeared peaceful in some parts of the state, the calm was compromised in other parts.

Giving account of the event, one Liberty Elem, said: “my observation so far in the election is that our agents, of the APC are not present because earlier some boys came and scattered the place and took the materials away.

“The security operatives went after them to bring back the materials. And since then they did not come back. The PDP agent is here and our APC agent is not.”

Meanwhile, a political party agent who is also the spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Samuel Nwanosike was arrested.

He condemned the situation, saying the security operatives were unnecessarily harrassing him.

“I am the collation agent of the PDP, I am not a criminal. I was just passing and was stopped by you (security operatives) and you are harrassing me.

“Let me go and do my work. The zonal INEC officer has said PDP has a right to choose any of its members to be its collation officer, this is a party affair. Officer you are harassing me, allow me to go and do my work, voting is going on.”

On the other hand, an Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) official was also purportedly attacked by the suspected political thugs and taken to the hospital.

Responding to this, a statement signed by the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Tonia Nwobi, debunked rumours that some of its staff were attacked.

The statement revealed that the election kicked off on time at 80% of the polling units slated for the election, except few places where pockets of violence were recorded.

“As at the time of filing this report, all 745 staff of the commission that were mobilized from Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, and Cross Rivers states, have returned and collation of results is on-going.

“However, the only abducted staff has been released and no INEC staff lost his/her hand to political thugs, as reported by some media houses.”

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