Journalists, domestic and foreign observers were shocked yesterday at the Rivers East Senatorial District Collation Centre when INEC officials narrated how soldiers of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army stormed the collation centre in Emohua Local Government Area and Ikwerre Local Government Area to snatch presidential and National Assembly result sheets.
Speaking during the collation session yesterday, Mrs. Mary Efeture Imawuya, INEC electoral officer of Ikwerre Local Government Area, declared that no collation was carried out in the local government because of the raid of INEC’s office in Isiokpo by soldiers.
She said: “Between 7pm and 8pm on Saturday, February 23, 2019, the military invaded INEC’s office at Isiokpo and they walked out every ad hoc staff that were 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 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 said.
The INEC returning officer said the military disrupted the process by sporadic shootings and snatching of the election materials.
Also speaking, INEC’s electoral officer for Emohua Local Government Area, Kenneth Etah, blamed massive shootings 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 of shooting, security officials evacuated us to the council hall.
“We remained there, while materials remained in my office. By 5am, I discovered my office was burgled. I have not seen my collation officer or the materials. I have not seen results. I submit 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 with soldiers.