Officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have exposed how soldiers of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army invaded the collation centres of Emohua and Ikwerre local government areas of Rivers State to snatch presidential and National Assembly election result sheets.
According to the INEC officials, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, in company of about 100 soldiers of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, allegedly invaded the INEC Office at Isiokpo, headquarters of Ikwerre Local Government Area.
In Emohua, a former Commissioner under Rotimi Amaechi led the invasion of the collation centre with soldiers.
Speaking during the collation session on Monday, Mrs. Mary Efeture Imawuya, INEC’s electoral officer for Ikwerre LGA, declared that no collation was carried out in Ikwerre Local Government Area because of the invasion of INEC office in Isiokpo by soldiers.
She said, “Between 7p.m and 8p.m on Saturday, February 23, 2019, the military invaded INEC office at Isiokpo and they walked out every ad hoc staff that was there to present their results to the collation officers. The evidence is still there. We took recordings.
“At the end of the day, no collation was carried out. The results of the collation officers, issued to them, was retrieved by me and returned back to the INEC state office”, she said.
She noted that the military personnel did not allow the ad hoc staff to carry out collation in their wards, hence permission was sought and obtained from INEC for collation to hold at the INEC office at Isiokpo.
“We sent messages to all our polling officers that they should report at Isiokpo with their results. As they were coming, one after the other, the collation officers were asked to identify their polling units and do their collation,” she added.
The INEC returning officer said that the military disrupted the process by sporadic shootings and snatched the election materials.
Also speaking, INEC electoral officer for Emohua Local Government Area, Kenneth Etah, blamed massive shooting by the military for the disruption of Emohua Local Government Area collation process.
He said, “As I speak, I do not have any results to present for Emohua Local Government Area because collation did not take place.
“This was due to sporadic shootings that disrupted the process. There was pandemonium and everything was scattered. After one hour shootings, security officials evacuated us to the council hall.
“We remained there while materials remained in my office. By 5a.m, I discovered my office was burgled. I have not seen my collation officer or the materials. I have not seen results. I submit that there were no results.”
The returning officer for Emohua Local Government Area, who disappeared with the invading soldiers of the 6 Division, resurfaced at the Rivers East collation centre in company of soldiers.
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