Corps members reveal how thugs threatened them to rig elections in Rivers state
– The corps members said they were threatened by thugs sent by leaders of the PDP
– The suspected corps members claimed that thugs abducted them and took them to a hotel where they were forced to falsify election results
Eleven corps members paraded on Friday, March 1 by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Maj.-Gen. Jamil Sarham, have claimed that they were threatened by thugs into rigging elections.
A youth corps member, Tuatimi James Powell, who served as a Presiding Officer (PO) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said thugs sent by some leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers state bundled them into a bus.
Powell claimed that the thugs took them to a hotel called Greenside Hotel, Bodo-Ogoni, Gokana local government area, Rivers state, where they were forced to rig the February 23 election.
Another corps member, an Assistant Presiding Officer (APO) of INEC, Michael Kponeh, also corroborated Powell’s story.
Corps members paraded for alleged election rigging in Rivers state.
UGC The GOC of 6 Division, who was represented by the Garrison Commander of 6 Division Garrison, Brig.-Gen. Adeola Kalejaiye, said: “On February 23, 2019, at about 1330hrs, following a tip-off, our troops deployed in Gokana general area for Operation Safe Conduct of Presidential and National Assembly elections, arrested 39 suspects, including eleven corps members and one driver, while others were Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ad hoc staff with sensitive electoral materials at Greenside Hotel in Gokana LGA of Rivers state.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspects were moved to the hotel to rig the election in favour of a political party. “Items recovered from the hotel were 34 ballot boxes loaded with ballot papers, three card readers, 10 bags containing electoral materials and Toyota Hiace bus, with registration number: Lagos: EQ 171 KRD.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s national chairman, Uche Secondus, said the court will ignore testimonies from international election observers that the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections were free and fair.
Secondus said the observers comment cannot be used because they have been threatened by the opposition to keep quiet.
Referring to a controversial statement made by the governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, that ‘foreigners who interfere in Nigeria’s election will return home in body bags’, Secondus said the fear of getting killed won’t let the observers say the truth about the elections.