By Chinonso Alozie
By Dayo Johnson, Chinonso Alozie, Marie-Therese Nanlong
VIOLENCE and allegations of malpractices trailed yesterday’s bye-elections in Imo and Ondo States. The exercise was peaceful in Plateau.
In Imo State, hundreds of ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, deployed for the Ngor Okpala State Constituency bye-election, were, abducted, taken to an unknown destination and forced to thump print ballot papers.
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Professor Chukwuemeka Ezeonu, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the conduct of the poll.
The REC warned that those ballot papers from the abducted INEC ad-hoc staff would not be accepted by the INEC. Earlier in the day, leaders of the APC and PDP traded allegations of fake armed security operatives storming the various polling booths to do the biddings of the parties.
Peaceful poll on the Plateau
In Plateau, the bye-elections for Jos North/Bassa federal constituency and Pankshin South State constituency recorded impressive turnout and were peaceful at press time with stakeholders including Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, who is the co-chairman of the PDP campaign council for the bye-elections urging INEC and security operatives to ensure the polls were not manipulated.
Tension in Ondo over violence, alleged monetary inducement
In Ondo, tension heightened in many voting centres in Akure North/South Federal Constituency during the House of Representatives bye election following an allegation that the state Deputy Governor, Mr. Lucky Ayedatiwa, was distributing money to influence voters.
But in a swift response, the deputy governor, who seen at the voting centre, denied the allegation saying he didn’t leave his residence, yesterday.
Sunday Vanguard gathered that the deputy governor decided to visit some centres following abysmal performance of the party’s candidate, Mayokun Alade, and distress call by All Progressives Congress, APC, leaders.
Voters at St Paul’s Primary School, Obaile Ward 9 Unit 3 in Akure North who identified the deputy governor kicked against his presence at the centre.
lt’s a lie, they should bring evidence – Deputy governor
In an interview, the deputy governor said:
“It is not true. How can I go around distributing money? What is my own with that? Anyone that says so should bring evidence where they saw me distributing money.
APC leader beaten up for running away with voter’s money.”
Sunday Vanguard gathered that at Methodist Primary School, Gbogi, a leader of the APC was beaten up and tied for allegedly running away with N240, 000 meant for party supporters.
He was rushed to a private hospital at lsinkan area by party faithful.
In an interview, he said that the money given to him was handed over to another party leader who eloped with it before the poll.
Our members attacked in lju, Eyitayo Jegede alleges
The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, who voted at Ward 2 Unit 9, Sacred Heart Primary School, Akure, alleged that members of the party were attacked and injured by thugs in lju, Akure North.
Jegede said elections were disallowed in some areas by thugs sponsored by the ruling party in the state.