By Omeiza Ajayi
AS the announcement of the presidential election results begins today, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC National Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said yesterday that the commission lost an ad-hoc staff in Rivers and another official has been handed over to the police in Imo State for alleged infractions.
He said though the commission was generally satisfied with the way Nigerians conducted themselves during the exercise, it was disheartening to note the killing of one of its ad hoc staff in Rivers by political thugs.
“While in all these attacks, electoral staff sustained injuries, we have unfortunately recorded the first fatality in Rivers State. An ad hoc staff, Mrs Ibiseki Amachree was hit by a bullet while returning from election duty in Degema. May her soul rest in peace. We condemn this attack and have lodged a comprehensive report with security agencies for expeditious investigation and prosecution of those involved,” he said.
This was as the INEC boss said the commission has also handed over one of its electoral officers in Imo to the Police for election duty infractions.
“ All election duty personnel have sworn to an oath of neutrality. We have reports of possible dereliction of duty by some electoral officials. They refused to activate or deploy the smart card readers. The failure to fully account for materials for the elections, absconding from duty and a host of other infractions. In Imo state, one of our Electoral Officers had already been handed over to the Police. We will not tolerate violations against, or by our own officials”, he warned.
He spoke of how INEC staff and policemen were held hostage in a place in Rivers, saying he had to immediately initiate their rescue process by calling on the heads of security agencies.