… Prime Suspects in Custody
Delta State Police Command has arrested and detained some officials of Labour Party (LP) over the possession of sensitive electoral documents of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in relation to the just concluded governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state.
Investigations revealed that those arrested are top members of LP who are alleged to have stolen INEC electoral materials for the 2015 general election.
A certified true copy of the police report signed by Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Hafiz M. Inuwa and addressed to the commissioner of police states that a premafacie case of forgery and falsification have been established.
According to the police report with reference number CR3000/DTS/SD3/VOL/3/230, and dated 25th June, 2015, the police acting on a tip-off swooped on a popular hotel located in the metropolis of Asaba, the Delta State capital and found the suspects in possession of INEC original copies of results relating to the just concluded governorship election in the state.
The report further stated that “ the recovered and identified result sheets are sensitive materials that should not be found outside the custody of INEC or officials of INEC and that the person that 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 listed the items recovered to include; “47 completed copies of original result sheet, otherwise known as , form EC8A, for the governorship election held in parts of Warri South; 16 completed copies of original result sheets, otherwise known as form EC8A(1), for House of Assembly held in parts of Warri South; 7 completed copies of original result sheets , otherwise known as form EC8 for governorship election held in parts of Ugheli North”.
Other items removed also include, “ 5 completed copies of original result sheet , otherwise known as form EC8A(1), for House of Assembly election held in Ugheli North and one copy of original form EC8B(1) for summary of results from polling units in Warri South. Also recovered were 149 original copies of polling unit material receipt forms, otherwise known as form EC25B; 139 copies of forged forms EC25B among others”.
Among those arrested and interrogated in connection with the incident are Chief Tony Ezegwu , who is the Delta State Labour Party Chairman and Onodawerho Esiri , the prime suspects in the report.
The report indicates that two staff of INEC staff allegedly conniving with the agents of the Labour Party were interrogated , adding that “ 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 election are missing from their strong room”.
The police have concluded plans to charge the suspects to court for conspiracy to steal, forgery and receiving of stolen INEC property.