Army arrest 24 suspects for snatching ballot boxes on March 9

Col. Sagir Musa

No fewer than 24 suspects were arrested by the Nigerian Army in connection with electoral offences during the Governorship and House Assembly elections in three states across the south-east and south-south zones.

Col. Sagir Musa, the spokesman of the Nigeria Army listed the states, in a statement, to include Imo and Abia in south-east and Cross River state in the south-south.

Giving a breakdown of the suspects on Tuesday, Musa said 15 suspects were arrested in Abia.

Out of the 15 suspects, five were political thugs, arrested at Lokpanta while on their way to disrupt election at Lekwesi community.

He said camouflage trousers, daggers and assorted charms were recovered from the suspects.

He said the other six suspects were arrested at Osisioma junction while they were conveying already thumb printed ballot papers in a vehicle.

“On questioning, he (Enwerej) claimed the ballot papers were specimens for the campaign,’’ he said.
According to Musa, an investigation is on to ascertain the culpability of the suspects.

Still, in Abia, Musa said troops also rescued an INEC staff abducted by hoodlums at Ohafia Technical College in Anna village.

He said that four suspects were arrested in connection with the case while efforts were on to apprehend other fleeing members of the gang.

Musa said that the four suspects had been handed over to the police for further action.

In Imo, the army spokesman said four suspected fake soldiers in military uniform (woodland camouflage) were nabbed around Everyday Super Market in Owerri.

He said the suspects were “escorting a prominent female politician in a political party vehicle” at the time of arrest.

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Musa said troops also intercepted and arrested suspected ballot box snatchers at Airforce junction near Ngor Okpala Local Government Area of Imo during the election.

He said that on sighting the troops, the suspects abandoned their vehicle and ran into the bush.

“Items recovered include one Sienna bus, one pump action gun with 11 live cartridge, voter cards and assorted ATMs bearing different names.’’

Musa said in Cross River, troops on patrol around power plant substation, Odukpani Local Government Area, rescued one Mr Authur Nkama, kidnapped at Ikot Ansa in Calabar Municipal Area Council.

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