BY DAYO JOHNSON
AS controversies trail the discovery of unclaimed voters’ cards in the hands of some politicians in Ondo State ahead of the election, the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Akin Orebiyi, said that the electoral official involved had been arrested and would be prosecuted by the police “for dragging the name of the commission into disrepute.”
In a statement in Akure, the commission said a security man attached to the local office of the INEC in Ondo West local government, was last weekend arrested by the police for making available about 1000 unclaimed voters’ cards to some politicians apparently to facilitate unwholesome activities during the gubernatorial election slated for October 20.
Orebiyi, who failed to disclose the identities of the politicians and political parties involved said he had sent a report on the matter to the Abuja headquarters of INEC.
He said that the suspect was arrested by the police following a tip-off by vigilant residents of the area where the INEC office is located.
Report also had it that a couple was arrested alongside the politicians. Tongues are however wagging following the arrest of the politician and the non disclosure of their identities by INEC and the Police in the state.
Another report said that about 100,000 ballot papers already thumb-printed in favour of a political party were found with the suspects. But Orebiyi denied that ballot papers were part of the documents seized from the suspects.
He said “There is no way anybody could get hold of the ballot papers which are very sensitive materials before the election. I don’t even know how it will look like not to talk of someone having them already thumb-printed.”
The REC said that “save for the voters’ cards and some campaign materials of two of the political parties, no other electoral materials were found in the possession of the suspects. For purposes of emphasis, no ballot papers were found”.