Ballot snatching: Gombe youth leader shot, Kwara PU results cancelled


The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kwara State, Mallam Attahiru Madami, has said the result of election in Polling Unit 10, Tsaragi Ward in the Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State in the Saturday presidential and National Assembly elections would be cancelled following a case of ballot box snatching by hoodlums.

Madami also told reporters  on Sunday that the cancellation was in line with the rules guiding the conduct of the elections.

He attributed the late arrival of Independent National Electoral Commission’s personnel and materials in some parts of Ilorin West to some logistical glitches.

He stated that the subsequent late commencement of voting in some of the polling units resulted in the extension of voting time in the affected areas.

The REC said, “It took us up to 11am before we finished the distribution of logistics and immediately I knew we were starting late, I extended the time of voting until the last person in the queue voted.”

Madami said out of 2,887 polling units in Kwara State, ballot boxes snatching was experienced in only one, which was in Tsaragi in Edu Local Government Area.

On the allegation that INEC used a vehicle belonging to a political party to distribute election materials, the REC said, “It is not true that the commission used vehicles belonging to one of the political parties involved in the election to distribute materials.”

Similarly, the REC in Kogi State, Hale Longpet, hinted on Sunday that election results in parts of the state where violence was recorded would likely be cancelled.

Longpet gave the hint in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.

The PUNCH reports that there were reports of interference by political thugs in some polling units in Anyigba and Dekina in the Kogi East and Mopa in the Kogi West as well as parts of Kogi Central, where voting materials were allegedly carted away by the thugs.

Reacting to the issues, the REC said, “You know the electoral law says that where there are disruptions to the process, the result will be cancelled, the very particular units’ results will be cancelled. The issues initially were only in the Kogi East and Central but I can’t tell exactly where and where in the state have been affected until the results are brought by the electoral officers.”

Meanwhile, the Gombe State Youth Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Kawu Mohammed-Masu, was on Saturday shot in the leg for trying to snatch a ballot box at the Yahaya Umaru 010 polling unit in the Gombe metropolis.

Our correspondent had exclusively reported that Mohammed-Masu, who is popularly known as Top-lero, masterminded the snatching of four boxes before soldiers retrieved two from him.

Investigation by our correspondent on Sunday revealed that  the attempted ballot box theft followed the announcement of results at the polling unit where the state Governor, Muhammadu Yahaya, voted.

“He (Mohammed-Masu) was quickly evacuated to the Federal Teaching Hospital in Gombe for treatment,” a source said.

At the hospital security personnel mostly soldiers were seen everywhere around the Accident and Emergency  department of the hospital, while doctors tried to save the youth leader’s leg from being damaged permanently.

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