The Electoral Officer in charge of the council polls in Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Mr Aloysius Muoka was yesterday arrested by the police from Nnewi Area Command at the council headquarters for his inability to explain an alleged disappearance of election result sheets in his custody.
Sunday Sun gathered that at about 5am yesterday, a red Toyota Corolla wagon drove into the premises of the council headquarters with three occupants who were said to have gone to where the sensitive materials were packed upstairs and lifted three bags, popularly called Ghana-must-go filled with election result sheets, which the suspects had allegedly loaded into the booth of the car ready to drive off before they were intercepted by a member of Labour Party in Nnewi North as police were said to be outside the gate as the incident unfolded.
After the arrest of Mr Muoka, another Electoral Officer, Mr Peter Nwogbo was quickly deployed from Awka to take over. Even at that, the election in the council area was botched, as the result sheets were not available.
Voters queued up in the morning, under the sun till sunset without casting their votes since no election materials were distributed to the 198 polling booths in 10 wards in Nnewi North.
When Sunday Sun contacted the newly deployed electoral officer in Nnewi North at 4pm while filing this report to ascertain whether the election would still hold, he said he was yet to be told the next thing to do from Awka.
A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) collation agent, Mr Dan Onyejegbu said at the council headquarters that party agents were not allowed to inspect the sensitive election materials. This, he said, raised suspicion and made them call for cancellation of the election.
Member representing Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Chris Azubogu said he would not as a lawmaker say that the election could go on or not until he hears from Awka even though he had earlier suggested to the EO that other materials could be distributed to the polling units while waiting for the result sheets.
Although there was a hitch-free council polls at Nnewi South Council Area, Ihiala Local Government recorded the same non availability of election result sheets, according to Sunday Sun check and there was no election there.
When Sunday Sun went to the Nnewi Area Commander, Mr Amiyi over the arrested EO, he referred the reporter to the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Awka, Mr Emeka Chukwuemeka who did not pick his call.
FROM DAVID ONWUCHEKWA, NNEWI