Soldiers intercept 3,600 ballot boxes in Ogun
THREE thousand, six hundred ballot boxes were intercepted by soldiers in Ogun State yesterday.
The soldiers who were from the 35 Artillery Brigade, Alamala, Abeokuta intercepted the truck fully loaded with the boxes at a spot near Odogbolu on the Ijebu-Ode/Benin expressway.
They were on a routine “stop and search” assignment when they arrested the driver and three other suspects who told them (soldiers) that an Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) contractor asked them to convey the boxes to Akwa Ibom.
However, not satisfied with the explanation, the soldiers handed them over to the State Police Command.
When contacted, the Command’s spokesman, Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi (ASP) confirmed the story, disclosing that the incident happened at 8 a.m.
Adejobi told journalists, “When they (soldiers) could not ascertain the authenticity of the ballot boxes, they handed the suspects over to the police at Ijebu Ode area command. Police thereafter commenced investigation into the matter.”
His words “As I speak with you, we have the 3,600 ballot boxes belonging to INEC of the Federal Republic of
“Information we have about the consignment as I am talking with you now is that some INEC officials have called to confirm that the consignment belongs to INEC and that the ballot boxes are meant to be delivered at INEC office in Akwa Ibom State,” he added.
Adejobi stated, “We want to think without mincing words for now that we cannot call the ballot boxes fake or illegal ones.”
He disclosed, “The INEC official that spoke with the police said the contractor who is to deliver the item will come to the police to deliver the relevant documents to clarify this. So, the items are still with us at this command; we are waiting for the necessary documents to ascertain the claims of INEC or the so-called agent.”
“Don’t let us say that we have recovered illegal ballot boxes. It is too early for us to jump into any conclusion now, but the information we have with us for now is that they are INEC properties. But we are still waiting for necessary documents to clarify this,” Adejobi affirmed.
“However, if they cannot produce the document to convince the police that these are genuine INEC items and ballot boxes, we are going to do what we should do. But for now, the matter is still fresh to jump into conclusion.”