INEC officials accuse Nigerian Army of disrupting, abducting election officials in Rivers
The electoral officers for Ikwerre, Okrika and Ahoada West local governments in Rivers State have accused the Nigeria army of disrupting elections.
Emavwoyan Efeturi, Leo Okon and Emotion Niki from the three areas came to the collation centre Monday night without their respective collation officers.
The trio said there was no collation in their areas and there was nothing to show that election took place.
Okon and Efeturi who are the electoral officers for Okrika and Ikwerre respectively, categorically mentioned that soldiers from 6 Division of the Nigerian Army based in Port Harcourt are responsible for the disruption of the process.
The two electoral officers said their collation officers could still not be found.
Okon, the electoral officer for Okrika, alleged that one Captain Inuwa led 10 soldiers to INEC office to stop collation and chase everybody away.
Also the EO Ahoada West, Mr Niki said, “APC and PDP” thugs were shooting heavily which made collation exercise impossible.
Due to the above issues, there were no results recorded for the three places in Rivers State.
At least 11 people including a soldier were confirmed killed in Rivers during Saturday’s election. The violence in RIvers made INEC suspend elections in some parts of the state.
The army has blamed the violence on armed supporters of the PDP, the governing party in Rivers.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government House press unit, in a separate statement released on Monday afternoon, the Rivers State Government alleged that the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, in the company of about 100 soldiers of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army invaded the INEC Office at Isiokpo.
Amaechi is the APC leader and immediate past governor of the state.
The statement accused Amaechi of working with soldiers to raid collation centres
INEC OFFICIALS NARRATE HOW SOLDIERS OF 6 DIVISION SNATCHED ELECTION RESULTS FOR EMOHUA/IKWERRE LGAs
Journalists, domestic and foreign observers were shocked on Monday at the Rivers East Senatorial District Collation Centre when INEC Officials narrated how soldiers of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army invaded Collation Centre of Emohua Local Government Area and Ikwerre Local Government Area to snatch Presidential and National Assembly result sheets.
The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi in company of about 100 soldiers of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army invaded the INEC Office at Isiokpo.
In Emohua, a former Commissioner under Rotimi Amaechi led the invasion of the Collation Centre by soldiers of the Nigerian Army.
Speaking during the Collation Session on Monday, Mrs Mary Efeture Imawuya INEC Electoral Officer of Ikwerre LGA declared that no Collation was carried out in Ikwerre Local Government Area because of the invasion of the INEC Office in Isiokpo by soldiers.
She said: “Between 7 and 8pm of Saturday, February 23, 2019, the military invaded INEC office at Isiokpo and they walked out every adhoc staff that were there to present their results to the Collation Officers. The evidence is still there. We took recordings.
She noted that the military personnel did not allow the adhoc 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 the 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 that the military disrupted the process by sporadic shootings and snatched the election materials.
Also speaking, INEC 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 shootings, 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 with at the Rivers East Collation Centre in company of soldiers.