Estimated reading time: 6 minute(s)
No fewer than eleven National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, members have been paraded in Rivers state for allegedly committing various electoral offences during last weekend’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.
They were paraded yesterday by officers of the 6 Division, Nigerian Army, in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.
The corps members were said to have been arrested in a hotel in Gokana Local Government Area of the State filling result sheets in favour of a political party during the elections.
The spokesman of the Division, Aminu Illiyasu, while parading the suspects at the 6 Division Headquarters, said preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects were moved from the polling units to a hotel to rig the elections in favour of a political party.
He said items recovered from the hotel include 34 ballot boxes loaded with ballot papers, three card readers, 10 bags containing electoral materials and Toyota Hiace bus with registration Number Lagos EQ171KRD.
However, a corp member, Mr. Ewitimi Jimicoal, who spoke on behalf of other colleagues, told reporters that they were whisked away under gun point by some men and were forced to fill result sheets by the political thugs.
According to him, “On Saturday after the Presidential and National Assembly elections, we heard sporadic gunshots at the polling units and immediately, some boys and some community men forced us into a bus and drove us to an unknown location.
“Right there at the place, the boys forced us to forge the result in favour of a political party at gunpoint and out of fear we did so, and while we were still surrounded with guns, the army came and arrested us”.
Also, paraded was a middle aged man, Gogo Meshach, and 42 others, including officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who were arrested with 142 Permanent Voters Card (PVC), and 42 pages of voters list.
The suspects have been handed over to the State Police Command for further investigations and possible prosecution.