State assembly polls: INEC official beaten to stupor in top southeast state
Some adhoc officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were attacked, and electoral materials, including ballot boxes, destroyed on Saturday, March 18, during the House of Assembly election at Odoakpu Ward 7, in Onitsha South local government area of Anambra state.
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Legit.ng's regional reporter in Anambra, Mokwugwo Solomon, noted that many INEC adhoc staff were seriously wounded; while over many others sustained various degrees of injuries during the attack by the thugs, who were moving from one pooling unit to another in Onitsha South L.G.A.
The thugs, suspected to be working for the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), invaded the polling units, carting away some ballot boxes, destroying them, and scattering other voting materials.
Some of the affected polling units, where ballot boxes and voting materials were destroyed include Nnewi Street, Margret Street and Metu Memorial Secondary School, all in Onitsha South LGA.
Narrating their ordeal, one of the seriously injured INEC adhoc staff, Mrs Amaka Ozoha, said the hoodlums barged into the voting units chanting “APGA or no other party” as well as other pro APGA songs; before they started destroying election materials, and beating INEC Officials with sticks and other weapons.
Mrs Ozoha said:
“We were surprised about the attack. We wouldn't know their reasons for doing that. All we know is that election was going on peacefully before they invaded the polling unit, and started beating us, and destroying the materials while carting away ballot boxes."
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Candidate of Labour Party (LP) in the area, Mr. Jude Umennajiego, who took some of the wounded INEC adhoc staff to hospital, told newsmen that his opponent found out that he was winning the election before he deployed thugs to disrupt the exercise.
"He knows that Odoakpu Ward 7 is one of strong holds in Onitsha South, and he has seen that I was winning him hands down; so, in order not to allow the polls to continue, he mobilized thugs to disrupt the election."