Nigerian Army gives account of ballot box snatchers, impostors nabbed during 2019 polls

Posted by News Express | 12 March 2019 | 587 times

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•Nigerian Army Spokesperson, Colonel Sagir Musa

The Nigerian Army, on Tuesday, gave an account of how, supporting the Nigerian Police Force, it ensured “a secure and peaceful conduct of the (2019) elections across the nation.”

“Despite pockets of crisis witnessed in few states, the election was conducted in a secure and peaceful atmosphere. To achieve this, the NA in conjunction with other security agencies struggled to checkmate criminals, kidnappers, political thugs, ballot box snatchers from having a field day to perpetuate their selfish illegal activities, in some instances at the detriment of soldiers’ lives as witnessed in Abonema and Andoni in Rivers State,” Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, said in a statement.

He gave examples of “specific instances abound where kidnappers and other hooligans were intercepted by the personnel of the NA in many parts of Nigeria.”

His words: “For example, around Everyday Super Market in Owerri, Imo State, 4 impostors in military uniform (Woodland camouflage) – Mr Chinedu Odogwu, Longinus  Okelue, Oguzie Princewell and Kelvin Samalia – were arrested while escorting a prominent female politician in a political party vehicle.

“Accordingly, 34 Brigade troops on Operation SAFE CONDUCT deployed around Osisioma junction, Abia State also arrested Mr Allwell Enwereji and five others conveying already thumb printed ballot papers in his vehicle.

“On questioning, he claimed the ballot papers were specimens for campaign. Investigation is on to ascertain the culpability of the suspects.

“Similarly, troops on patrol around power plant substation Odukpani LGA, in Cross River State rescued Mr Arthur Nkama, who was earlier kidnapped at Ikot Ansa, in Calabar Municipal Area Council, Cross River State.

“Troops also intercepted and arrested suspected ballot box snatchers at Airforce junction near Ngor Okpala LGA in Imo State on the 9th of March 2019. On sighting the troops, the suspects abandoned their vehicle and run into the bush. Items recovered included one Sienna Bus, one pump action gun with 11 live cartridge, voters cards and assorted ATMs bearing different names.”

Musa said that “in another development, troops also rescued INEC Staff abducted by hoodlums at Ohafia Technical College in Anna Village in Abia State on the 9th of March 2019. Four of the suspects have been arrested while efforts are on to apprehend other fleeing members of the gang. The suspects have been handed over to the police for further action.”

But that was not all: “Similarly, five political thugs were nabbed at Lokpanta, on the 9th of March 2019 while on their way to disrupt election in Lekwesi community in Abia State. Items recovered from them include camouflage trousers, daggers and assorted charms,” the Army Spokesman said.

Source: News Express

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