The governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo-led administration has arrested Nnamdi Chude, a fervent supporter of the Labour Party, for allegedly likening the current government to the terror-infested tenure of former governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju.
Mr Chude is currently being detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) in Awka over allegation of cybercrime, a person familiar with the matter told Peoples Gazette Saturday evening.
Suspected thugs of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) — the governor’s party and dominant party in Anambra state — invaded multiple polling units while the state’s House of Assembly elections were underway on Saturday.
According to Mr Chude, who witnessed the incident and described it on his Twitter page, the thugs snatched the ballot boxes to disrupt the voting process out of desperation that APGA candidates might lose to Labour Party opponents in the state parliamentary elections, similar to what happened in the presidential polls.
“#Breaking: APGA thugs are on rampage in Trans-Nkisi, 3’3 & Awada snatching ballot box. LP is winning comfortably across Anambra,” Mr Chude tweeted at 4:12 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
Mr Chude, then, likened Mr Soludo’s inability to stop election violence in the state to that of his distant predecessor, Mr Mbadinuju, whose tenure witnessed a surge in brazen crimes and blatant disregard for the rule of law.
“I can’t remember the last time I heard of ballot box snatching in Anambra. this is the height of it,@CCSoludo has taken us back to Mbadinauju’s era,” Mr Chude added.
Around 5:30 p.m., security operatives swiftly picked up Mr Chude from Onitsha and transported him to Awka’s SCID where he is being detained on cybercrime charges, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.
Section 24 of the Cybercrime Act 2015, signed by former president Goodluck Jonathan, has been politically weaponised by many Nigerian leaders and elites who cite it to arrest dissenting voices and critics.
The section criminalises the use of a computer or network for any person to intentionally send a message “he knows to be false, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will or needless anxiety to another.”
Recall addressing supporters of the ruling party at a meeting, MC Oluomo, a known ally of President-Elect Bola Tinubu, threatened Igbos who will not vote for the party on Saturday to stay away from poling stations.
“We have begged them. If they don’t want to vote for us, it is not a fight. Tell them, Mama Chukwudi, if you don’t want to vote for us, sit down at home. Sit down at home,” he had said.
“It’s not about fighting or chaos; we Yorubas have to get there early with our PVCs. We have to get there early and vote.”