Barely few hours to the rescheduled general elections, security agencies in Edo State, have apprehended one Edwin Edosomwan, in Iyekogba axis of Oredo Local Government Area, for being in possession of 2,000 Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).
The PVCs, it was learnt, were purchased from residents in Iyekogba, Oredo Ward 2, but Edosomwan, who was nabbed on Thursday evening, claimed he was a mobiliser for one of the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) contesting in today’s election.
The development is coming less than 24 hours after a Benin-based research group, Edo Socio-Political Research Group, released findings of a study on PVC collection in the state, which showed that some candidates of the PDP had engaged in ‘systemic rigging.’
In the study, it was discovered that there was a dubious rate of PVC collection in Oredo and Ovia North East, areas where the PDP candidates in the state would vote. The research showed that the two local councils were outliers in the rate of PVC collection, while the trend seemed normal in the 16 other local councils.
Edosomwan was caught in Oredo local council, one of the councils that the Edo Socio-Political Research Group had raised the alarm of a possible case of ‘systemic rigging.’
Speaking to reporters while being paraded by security operatives, Edosomwan claimed to be a member of the ‘Operation Show Your Result’ team, a support group for a PDP legislative candidate.
He said he was mandated to get as many PVCs of eligible voters as possible with the aim of buying over their votes.
Edosomwan added that he bought the PVCs for as low as N5,000 per PVC, noting that he and members of his campaign group have been instructed to deliver their units at all costs.
The suspect was later taken in by law enforcement agencies for further interrogation.