The Nigerian Police headquarters, Abuja has paraded five suspects for allegedly hijacking electoral materials during the legislative rerun election in Rivers State last Saturday.
The Force spokesman, Donald Awunah, stated that the police recovered from them, a green INEC branded bag, eight booklets of ballot papers meant for Emohua LGA, and one INEC accreditation incident reports booklet.
The police also recovered one statement of results booklet and one blood-stained APC agent card.
The names of the arrested suspects are;
Noble Nwaerema, Dike Deinpiribo, Valentine Alalibo, Onwunari Warmate and Iloke Stephen.
DCP Awunah said arms and ammunition recovered from the suspects included, one AK47 rifle, one assault rifle, six magazines and 112 rounds of live ammunition.
He explained that Nwaerema was arrested on December 10, 2016 by the state Anti-Robbery Squad operatives along the Rumusi Elele road, adding that the suspects claimed that he was hired by the youth president of Itu-Ikwere community together with eight others imported from a neighbouring state.
“They invaded Emohua LGA and carted away electoral materials meant for polling units within the area; intelligence report confirmed the electoral materials were taken to a government facility and escorted by armed personnel,” Awunah stated.
The spokesman said that the quartet of Deinpiribo, Alalibo, Warmate and Stephen belonged to a group of cultists and professional political thugs.
The boys, he added, claimed to have been engaged by one Boma Goodhead who procured two Ak47 rifles and commissioned his driver, one Iryo to convey the weapons in his black Toyota Prado SUV and handed same to the suspects in Degema.
The spokesman stated that the suspects were responsible for several armed attacks that took place during the elections in places like Abonnema, Emuoha, Elele, Eteche and Omoku where a police officer was gruesomely killed.
“The rifles and 112 rounds of ammunition were recovered from them, other members of the killer gang fled and detectives are on their trail,” he emphasised.
DCP Awunah said that some security personnel were arrested for professional misconduct, “actions, inactions, omission and commission that were detrimental to the electoral process.”