INEC’s Staff Held Hostage, Bribed To Thumb Print Ballot Papers In Ondo By-Election
When INEC couldn’t conduct a credible election in Anambra State, Nigerians shouted but they said they have learnt their lesson and promised to improve in future elections. But as it stands now, INEC is a failure. They keep getting worse with every election. One wonders what 2015 will look like in Nigeria!
Mr Ismail Lawal, an NYSC member who served as a presiding officer and an ad-hoc staff for INEC in Ondo State House of Reps By-Election has stated that he and other members of his team were held hostage by some politicians for several hours at Ese Odo local government area.
In his confession on what happened during the election, Mr. Ismail Lawal revealed that:
When it got close to the end of the voting, armed thugs stormed the booth and threatened to burn down the ballot boxes and other electoral materials if he and others refused to cooperate in rigging the election.
“When we got to the end of the voting exercise they threatened to burn and kill us. We had no option other than to do their wishes by thumb printing lots of ballot papers,” he said.
He added that the thugs gave them eight thousand naira after forcing them to carry out the fraudulent task.
Speaking at the venue of the final collation of election results at the Civic Centre in Igbokoda, Bode Okoriko, a professor who served as the collation officer for Ese Odo Local Government, confirmed that the NYSC members were held hostage and threatened to carry out illegal acts that contravened electoral laws.
Sources say the thugs forced the NYSC members to thumb print for PDP but INEC is keeping the ballot papers secret for reasons best known to them. They say it’s now clear that INEC is collaborating with PDP.