by CHRIS NJOKU
Not fewer than 25 officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC were yesterday arrested in various polling booths in Oru East Local Government Areas of Imo State during supplementary governorship and House of Assembly elections.
Although the police authorities in the state could not confirm this when contacted on telephone, Sunday Mirror reliably gathered that the officials were nabbed while thumping printing ballot papers in the private homes of some chieftains of political parties participating in the exercise while others were also arrested for snatching of ballot boxes.
Also arrested were fake INEC officials, who posed as Returning Officers at the Collation Centre.
The Edo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Mike Igini, who was among the INEC team deployed for the election, who made the arrest, said that the INEC officials were arrested at Umumma primary school Ward 10 Polling Unit 008, Polling Unit 003 and three others.
“Myself accompanied by the Assistant Inspector General of Police and Commissioner Police have arrested poll officials in Oru East involved in mass thumb printing and are now taken to Owerri”
He said that upon his suspicion he saw an imposter who claimed to be lNEC staff without proof acting as a presiding officer and he ordered for his arrest.
Also responding, the Imo State REC, Dr. Gabriel Ada, confirmed the incident when contacted on phone, said that the Electoral officer EO in charge of Oru East has already briefed him of the arrest.
Meanwhile, the election was relatively peaceful and orderly in the various units visited as election materials arrived on time while accreditation of voters commenced as early as 8.30 to 9am.There was an low turnout of voters at some of the polling units visited at Oru East LGA
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