A Senator of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Hope Uzodinma, has been arrested for election malpractice (rigging). The Senator was caught thumb-printing ballot papers at a private residence during the Saturday, 25th gubernatorial election rerun in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State.
The Senator who was arrested alongside his family members, his uncle and elder sister, was later released based on recognition while his uncle and elder sister were being detained. Sources have it that as soon as the senator was released, supporters in the area set bornfires to prevent them from taking his family members away.
The police had to call for reinforcement from the army and officials of the secret police, the State Security Service before the bonfires and hoodlums were cleared and his relations carted away to be detained in the state capital, Owerri.
Meanwhile, Also arrested were fake INEC officials who posed as Returning Officers at the collation centre. At Oru East Local Government Area, which has majority of the Polling Units where rerun election were held, some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were caught thumb-printing ballot papers in favour of one of the political parties.
The Resident Commissioner (REC) of Edo State, Mike Igini, was part of the INEC team deployed to conduct the election said, the corrupt officials were arrested at Umumma Primary school ward.
“Myself accompanied by the Assistant Inspector General of Police and Commissioner of Police have arrested poll officials in Oru East involved in mass thumb-printing and are now taken to owerri.
“Upon my suspicion, an imposter, who claimed to be lNEC staff without proof, acting as a presiding officer, l ordered his arrest and it was effected by the Police”.
At Ozuh-Omuma, an agent of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bernars Nwaokoro, was shot by thugs and the ballot box of his unit hijacked.
Also, one Rex Anunobi was kidnapped from his home but was rescued by a team of Policemen led by one of the visiting Assistant Inspector Generals of Police to the state.