By Emma Amaize
*Steal 117 Governorship, 20 House of Assembly elections’ result sheets
*How police arrested suspects in Asaba hotel
ASABA- Police in Delta State have burst a syndicate of politicians and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, who broke into the Commission’s strong room in Asaba and stole original copies of 137 result sheets used for the last Governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state. The police recovered 47 completed copies of original result sheets, otherwise known as Form EC8A for the governorship election held in parts of Warri South and 16 completed copies of original result sheets, otherwise known as form EC8A (1) for House of Assembly held in parts of Warri South from the suspects.
Detectives also recovered were seven completed copies of original result sheets, otherwise known as Form EC8 for governorship election held in parts of Ugheli North; five completed copies of original result sheet , otherwise known as Form EC8A(1) for House of Assembly election held in Ugheli North.
Other items recovered were one copy of original form EC8B(1) for summary of results from polling units in Warri South, 149 original copies of polling unit material receipt forms, otherwise known as form EC25B and 139 copies of forged forms EC25B among others.
A reliable source hinted, weekend, that the police would soon arraign the suspects, including the chairman and top official of one of the political parties in the state in court for conspiracy to steal, forgery and receiving of stolen INEC property.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP, Hafix M. Inuwa, in a report, reference number, CR3000/DTS/SD3/VOL/3/230, dated June 25, said acting on a tip- off, detectives swooped on a popular hotel in Asaba , where they arrested the politicians.
According to the report, addressed to the Commissioner of Police, “The recovered and identified result sheets are sensitive materials that should not be found outside the custody of INEC or officials of INEC…”
The report suggested that whoever stole the result sheet “is the person that stands to gain advantage at the Electoral Petition Tribunal if INEC could not produce the result sheets when the tribunal demands for it.”
The report indicated that two staff of INEC allegedly connived with the agents of the Labour Party were interrogated.
“Following the discovery of these exhibits, INEC did a stock taking of its strong room and discovered that a total of 117 results sheets for governorship election and 20 House of Assembly elections are missing from their strong room,” the report added.
Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, Celestina Kalu, told Vanguard when contacted, yesterday, that INEC wrote a petition to the police over the matter and police and two INEC staff and an official of the Labour Party would be charge to court over the theft.
She said some of the suspects had been at large, refusing to honour police invitations, but the police would continue manhunt for them, adding that it was wrong for officials of a political party and INEC officials to collude and remove INEC materials from its strong room.
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