Joe Effiong, Uyo
Despite officially withdrawing from senatorial, House of Representatives and state constituency re-run elections on Saturday, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been accused of diverting election materials and abducting INEC staff during Saturday election in Esdien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
A chieftain of People Democratic Party (PDP) and the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Mr Ukpong Akpabio, who made this known to reporters observing the election, said that all election materials for six units in Akpautong in the re-run election in Essien Udim Council Area have, however, been recovered in a politician’s house in the area.
Akpabio, who did not identify the politician, said the person is a prominent member of the APC in the area.
He said all the hoodlums who carted away the election materials have been arrested and detained at the State Police Command, Ikot Akpan Abia, Uyo, while ad hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), including an Electoral Officer who was abducted with the materials, have been released.
“It took the strength of the Nigeria Police to recover the stolen materials in the politician’s house.”
“The ad hoc staff were abducted and forced to thumbprint the ballot papers instead of the voters including one of the Electoral Officers assigned to the area.
“Those arrested were too many such that the police called prison officials to ferry them to the state police command,” he said.
The Police Public Relations Officer for Akwa Ibom Nnudam Frederick, however, said the police had not received any official report of the incident, but promised to treat it as soon as the report comes to the command.