BY ALFRED AGUDIEBUBE
At the end of Saturday March 9th governorship election conducted in the 17 LGAs of Abia State, the 14 Brigade Headquarters, Ohafia of Nigeria Army have handed over 28 suspected electoral offenders to the police command in the state.
The Commanding Officer 14 Brigade, Brigadier General Abubakar Ibrahim handed over the suspects to the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Awosola Awotinde who was represented by an Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of Operations, ACP Gabriel Elaigwu.
The suspects who are all male and 28 in number are believed to be supporters of various political parties in the state who obliged to do various dirty jobs for their political parties.
Recovered from them are three Sports Utility vehicles with Registration numbers Lagos SMK 637 FF, Kano KMC 164 SS, Abuja ABJ 246 AA and a commercial tricycle with registration number Imo EKE 431 QB including thumb printed ballot papers, cash and other incriminating electoral materials.
Among the suspects were party leaders of some of the prominent political parties in the state including a 20 years old cadet of Delta State Marine School who his name as Chibuike Daniel, an indigene of Agbo Emede Ibeku in Umuahia North LGA of the state.
General Abubakar while handing them over disclosed that the suspects were arrested in different parts of the state by the brigade’s personnel stationed across the state during the gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections.
Abubakar disclosed that some of the personnel of the security outfit on a tip off stormed a location and made arrest of people who were thumb printing for a candidate of their choice even before the commencement of the actual voting process.
“We found them with already thumb printed ballot papers even before the commencement of the elections. That is why they were arrested.
“Two persons in the second group on an election day dressed in such a manner that when you see them, you will think that they are military personnel and that is why they were arrested, while the suspects in the third group were arrested in the general area of Ovim, Ohafia and Bende.
“We suspected that they are political thugs. Cash and other incriminating items were recovered from them. We are handing them over to the police for them to be properly investigated,” he said.
In his response after receiving the suspects, the State Police Commissioner’s representative who confirmed that the suspects was 28 in number said that the suspects and the vehicles would be kept in the custody of the State Criminal and Investigation Department (SCID) for further investigations.
Elaigwu who commended the leadership of 14 Brigade and the synergy existing between the sister’s agencies in the state said that anyone among the suspects, who was found culpable in the course of their investigation, would be arraigned before a court.
He warned youths and politicians against being desperate for power, but to subject themselves to the Will of the people to prevail always.
However, some of the suspects including Chibuike Daniel, Felix Okokwe from Ikwuano LGA, Ofokansi Obioma from Ogwe in Ukwa West LGA and Stephen Adimoranma all denied allegations against them.
FROM THE TOWER OF TRUTH