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Rivers re-run: Police arrest five suspected ballot papers snatchers

Rivers re-run: Police arrest five suspected ballot papers snatchers
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The Nigeria Police Force in Abuja on Wednesday arrested five suspects for snatching INEC ballot papers during the just concluded legislative re-run elections in Rivers.

The suspects are: Noble Nwaerema, Dike Deinpiribo, Valentine Alalibo, Onwunari Warmate and Iloke Stephen.

Presenting the suspects to journalists, the Force spokesperson, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Don Awunah, said the sensitive INEC materials were recovered from them.

Other items recovered from them include one AK 47 rifle, one assault rifle, six magazines and 112 rounds of live ammunition.

The rest are: a green INEC branded bag, eight booklets of ballot papers for Emohua Local Government Area, one booklet of INEC accreditation incident report forms, one booklet of statement of results and one blood-stained APC agent identity card.

He said Mr. Nwaerema, 33, claimed he was hired by the Youth President of Itu-Ikwere community together with eight others from a neighbouring state.

Mr. Awunah said they invaded Emouha Local Government and carted away electoral materials meant for polling units within the area.

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He said others who participated in the crime were at large.

“Intelligence report confirmed the electoral materials were taken to a government facility and escorted by armed personnel.’’

The spokesman said that Deipiribo, Aldibo, Warmate and Stephen who belong to a cultist group, said they were engaged by Boma GoodHead who procured two AK 47 rifles and commissioned his driver to convey the weapons.

He said the suspects were responsible for several armed attacks that took place during the elections in places like Abonnema, Emuoha, Elele, Etche and Omoku.

Mr. Awunah said that some security personnel were also arrested for professional misconduct detrimental to the re-run elections in Rivers.

He said that some of them connived with some politicians to scuttle the process.

The spokesman said that a high-powered investigative panel was looking into the misconduct.

“The police will decisively deal with anybody irrespective of status or political affiliation,’’ he said.

He said that the suspects would be prosecuted after investigation was concluded.

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