Rivers rerun: 80 arrested for electoral offences

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By Jimitota Onoyume,                      

Port Harcourt – DESPITE the heavy presence of soldiers and policemen, the rerun election in Etche local government area of Rivers State, yesterday, still witnessed incidents of violence.

There was   heavy shooting and reported hijacking of election materials. Three agents of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, were   among about   80   persons arrested for alleged   electoral offences by security agencies.

A Cross Section of suspected thugs arrested by the Nigerian Army at Olakwo II Etche during the Rivers Federal and State House of Assembly Re-run Election for Etche and Omuma Constituency being taken into custody by the Army Saturday. Photo: Nwankpa Chijioke

Meanwhile, the Publicity Secretary   of the PDP in the state, Mr Sam Nwonosike,   who was the Returning   Officer of Etche Local Government, alleged harassment by security operatives.

He was allegedly arrested at Ulakwo town during the election   but, in a chat with journalists, he described the action of the security men as intimidation.

There was poor voters turnout in several areas including Ward 14, Igbodo   town where the election held.

There were also reports of abduction of electoral and security officers who were later released.

Suspected political thugs were arrested at Ulakwo   town   in the local government area in two buses.

Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner,   Elder Aniedi Ikoiwak,   said the election would be cancelled in areas where electoral materials were snatched, adding that he was satisfied the election went on in several areas in the local government.

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