10 persons alleged to be involved in the murder of one person and burning of 11 buses close to the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Obot Akara local government area of Akwa Ibom have been arrested by the state’s police command.
In two different operations, 179 Permanent Voters Card (PVC’s) and 27 temporary voters cards were also seized.
Also, 41 persons claiming to be election observers but who had no evidence to prove their claim were arrested.
It was gathered that the development was made public by the state’s commissioner of police, Bashir Makama, at a press conference on Monday, February 18.
Makama, who was represented by the command’s public relations officer, DSP Odiko Ogbeche, said though the INEC office at Eastern Obolo local government area was set ablaze, the police was able to put out the fire and all the electoral commission’s materials were intact.
He said: “On the eve of the 2019 general elections, at about 10.05pm, hoodlums at Obot Akara LGA, close to the INEC office, macheted and killed one person whose identity is unknown, burnt 11 buses and vandalized two.
“The command acted swiftly and arrested 10 persons in connection with the crime.” Ogbeche denied reports that the police had arrested 400 political thugs in the state; pointing out that only 10 persons were arrested and they have not yet been linked to any political party.
He disclosed that two locally made short guns, 25 live cartridges, weed suspected to be Indian hemp, two machetes, charms, human hair, dead bird, knife, scissors, hot drink, two axes and phones were retrieved from the 10 suspects.
He urged politicians to abide by the rules and advice their supporters to conduct themselves peacefully during the elections. He further disclosed that the suspects would be transferred to the Force Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation.
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