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19 Feb 2019

Police Breaks Silence On Arresting People With Thumb Printed Ballot Papers For PDP In Sokoto

The Sokoto State Police Command has denied arresting any persons with already thumb printed ballot papers in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or any other political party in the state.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Mohammed Abubakar Sadiq, said at a media briefing yesterday that what the police found on one Shehu Maidama on Sunday were samples of ballot papers meant for enlightenment of party supporters.

Also responding, INEC’s Public Relations Officer, Mohammed Sokoto, confirmed that the seized specimen ballot papers, insisting they were not INEC ballot papers for the 2019 elections.
He added that the electoral law did not disallow any political party from using such materials for voter education.

However, Sodiq explained that the specimen ballot papers were not impounded during distribution but that the police would carry out further investigation into the matter.

He advised political parties to report anybody found with sensitive or non-sensitive INEC materials, adding that the police was working with other security agencies to ensure peace before, during and after the elections.

Meanwhile, the Kwara Advancement Initiative (KAI), has raised the alarm that sensitive election materials meant for Presidential and National Assembly elections kept with the CBN have been compromised.

In a statement issued in Ilorin yesterday, its leader, Kamaldeen Olanrewaju, disclosed that sensitive materials such as ballot papers, result sheets and card readers sent to Kwara for the election, had been tampered with by some INEC officials in connivance with some leaders of one of the political parties.

While urging the media, observers and civil society groups to pay attention to the development, he urged security agencies, especially the police to urgently investigate the matter and ensure that justice is done.

Reacting, INEC’s Director of Voter Education and Enlightenment in the state, Jacob Ayanda, said the report was not true.

Ayanda, who said election process had been done in full glare of members of the public, political parties and media, added that stakeholders were present when INEC returned the materials to the CBN.

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