Bayelsa Poll: Two Suspects Arrested for Ballot Snatching

In a way that would have proved bookmarkers wrong, Southern Ijaw, Bayelsa State supplementary election could not have gone on without skirmishes.

Early reports from the supplementary election indicate that two persons suspected to be agents of one of the political parties have been arrested for allegedly snatching a ballot box.

The suspects were said to have been arrested by soldiers at Otuokpoti Unit 1, Ward 2, Ogbia Local Government Area, where the box was allegedly snatched.

Also, security agents arrested a fake official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at Famgbe, Yenagoa.

He was reportedly hired to help rig the election in the area. He reportedly made confessional statement indicting some government officials.

The suspects were said to have forcefully carried the ballot box while polling was ongoing at the unit.

The incident caused pandemonium but after the suspects were taken away, accreditation and voting resumed.

An Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) official in the ward, who did not want to be named, confirmed that security reinforcement had been sent to the area and that election would continue.

A member of the security team in the ward said that the suspects would be taken to Yenagoa, the state capital, while investigation would be carried out on the incident.

However, Police in the state said they were yet to receive report on the incident.

Spokesman of the command, Asinim Butswat, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said it was possible that such incident occurred in the polling area but that the command had not received report on it.

Butswat, however, said that the situation was calm in most polling units where the election was being conducted.

The supplementary election in the state is holding in Southern Ijaw and in 101 polling units in other parts of the state where the Dec. 5, 2015 governorship poll was cancelled due to violence.

According to Butswat, reports from the units indicate that all is calm. “The command has done necessary deployments to all polling units. In most units, accreditation and voting have commenced and it has been peaceful so far.

“Our men are on ground and are on top of the situation,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, accreditation and voting began in Otuabagi, Otuekemi and other units in Ward 12, Ogbia Local Government Area between 8.15 a.m. and 8.40 a.m.

It was observed the card readers in the polling units visited were functional.

Meanwhile, voting has been concluded in some polling units and collation of results is currently ongoing

Author: News Editor

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