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 Police arrest lorry with ballot boxes in Ibadan

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eddyvic
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PostSubject: Police arrest lorry with ballot boxes in Ibadan   2015-01-08, 06:21

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The Oyo State police command on
Wednesday arrested a lorry
conveying ballot boxes said to
belong to the Independent
National Electoral Commission
around 2am in the Yemetu area of
Ibadan.
The ballot boxes were stored in a
40-feet container.
Sources said that the trailer was
arrested on the suspicion that it
was carrying contraband items but
was later discovered that its
contents were ballot boxes meant
for the next month election in Osun
State.
It was learnt that the trailer and the
consignment were later released
after police investigation revealed
that the boxes were being
transported to Osun State by INEC.
However, the arrest created anxiety
in political circles as politicians
made effort to know if the boxes
were empty or stuffed with ballot
papers.
At a point, rumour spread in the city
that a certain political party had
connived with INEC to bring in
thumb-printed ballot papers into
Oyo State.
A source said, “A trailer carrying a
40-feet container with registration
number FKJ 285 XN was actually
impounded by the police but after
a thorough check, it was cleared
and released.”
The spokesman for the Oyo State
Police Command, Mr. Kayode
Ajisebutu, could not confirm the
incident. He said he was outside
the state and could not get through
to the Commissioner of Police.
Meanwhile, the immediate past
Cross River State Resident Electoral
Commissioner, Mr. Mike Igini, has
said INEC will no longer be the tool
for manipulation by some
politicians but a national institution
committed to the conduct of free,
fair and credible elections.
Igini, who said this on Wednesday
at the unveiling of INEC Conference
Hall in Calabar, also decried the lack
of internal democracy in political
parties.
Igini said, “This year’s election will
be a watershed, a paradigm shift
that would bring about the hope of
integrity and reliability unequalled
in our electoral history. At all times
we strive to do what is right. The
commission will no longer be the
tool for manipulation by some
politicians.
“Our commitment to do the right
thing was initially misunderstood
especially our emphasis on internal
party democracy which is still a
problem today, where parties do
not even have a minimum
requirement of credible register of
delegates before conducting
elections.
“It is inconsiderable that INEC
would conduct elections that
would be acceptable by the
Nigerian people without having a
register of voters published. The
foundation of any good elections
must start with the existence of a
credible and reliable register of
voters,” he said.
He thanked the INEC membrs of
staff for their commitment.
The REC said the Conference Hall
christened “Democracy Hall” would
serve for conducting INEC activities,
especially collation of results, after
25 years of hiring venues.
The INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru
Jega, who was represented by the
Vice-Chancellor of the University of
Calabar, Prof. James Epoke, said
Igini had made a change for the
better in INEC both infrastructural
and in entrenching the right
mindset.
He said such should be the
character of political leaders, who
should always leave where they
were better than they met it.
Jega, who inaugurated the hall,
hoped the new REC would do the
right thing.
The state chairman of the Inter-
Party Advisory Committee, Mr.
Goddie Akpama, said under Igini’s
watch the state was a hallmark of
free, fair and credible elections.
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