Corps members accused of rigging have come out to counter the claims,
A youth corps member, Tuatimi James Powell, yesterday revealed how
some leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State
sent thugs to force him and 10 other colleagues to a hotel in
Bodo-Ogoni, Gokana Local Government Area, Rivers State to rig the
February 23 presidential and National Assembly elections at gunpoint.

Corper Powell, who was a Presiding Officer (PO) of the Independent
National Electoral Commission (INEC), said he and other youth corps
members had horrifying experiences in the hands of the PDP thugs who
bundled them into a waiting bus amid sporadic gunshots and moved them
to Greenside Hotel.

The youth corps member revealed that on getting to the hotel, the PDP
leaders and their thugs forced them to fill fictitious results on
INEC’s result sheets forcibly taken from him and other corps members
at gunpoint while also forcing them to sign the documents.
Corroborating Powell, an Assistant Presiding Officer (APO) of INEC,
Michael Kponeh, disclosed that the ad hoc staff and other officials of
INEC were held hostage by the PDP thugs in Bodo-Ogoni in Gokana LGA
and made to do their bidding at gunpoint.

The 11 corps members were paraded along with 42 other suspects
yesterday by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Nigerian
Army, Port Harcourt, Maj.-Gen. Jamil Sarham. The GOC, who was
represented by the Garrison Commander of 6 Division Garrison,
Brig.-Gen. Adeola Kalejaiye, was assisted by 6 Division’s Deputy
Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Aminu Iliyasu. Maj.-Gen. Sarham
said, On February 23, 2019, at about 1330hrs, following a tip-off, our
troops deployed in Gokana general area for Operation Safe Conduct of
Presidential and National Assembly elections, arrested 39 suspects,
including eleven corps members and one driver, while others were
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ad hoc staff with
sensitive electoral materials at Greenside Hotel in Gokana LGA of
Rivers State. Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspects
were moved to the hotel to rig the election in favour of a political
party. Items recovered from the hotel were 34 ballot boxes loaded with
ballot papers, three card readers, 10 bags containing electoral
materials and Toyota Hiace bus, with registration number: Lagos: EQ
171 KRD.” The GOC also said that 13 political thugs also arrested in
Harris Town, Degema LGA of Rivers State ahead of last Saturday’s

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