“We never saw any election take place in Rivers” – Army Officers

The Nigerian Army, has revealed that armed thugs invaded several polling units in Rivers state on April 11, and made away with election materials.

Three senior Army officers testified before the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Thursday.

The officers- Captain Abubakar Mohammed, from Bony Camp, Lagos; Captain Fred Bala, from Maiduguri and Captain Isa Almakura- insisted that the governorship poll in Rivers State was marred by violence and sporadic gun shots by thugs, which scared away potential voters.

Almakura, told the tribunal that his team got “bombardment of phone calls” from ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, who were shouting for help and rescue from thugs that invaded their polling units.

“On our arrival at polling units in Osuala, Onuerelu, Omerelu and Alu, we found the INEC ad hoc staff, mainly youth corps members, mercilessly beaten by the thugs.”

“In Ozuaha, roads were barricaded and on sighting our patrol vehicles the hoodlums who mounted the barricade ran into the bush. We received calls and on getting to some polling units, the INEC ad hoc staff told us that some hoodlums beat them, collected electoral materials and ran away.

“I never saw any election taking place in any of the wards.”

Similarly, Capt. Salihu of Port Harcourt Barracks, said he patrolled Gokana LGA with 24 soldiers, adding that no election took place in the area on April 11.

He said, “In the course of my patrol, I received a call from a primary school in Mogoh. On getting there, there was shooting from across the fence.

We responded and the shooters were shooting as they withdrew. We were able to pull out the INEC permanent and ad hoc staff and took them to INEC office.”

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