The police has paraded five suspects for allegedly causing violence and hijacking electoral materials during the legislative rerun election that held in Rivers State last Saturday.
Force Public Relations Officer, Don Awunah, noted that many incriminating materials were recovered from the suspects, including one green INEC-branded bag, eight booklets of ballot papers meant for Emohua Local Government Area, and one INEC accreditation incident reports booklet.
Awunah added that one statement of results booklet and one blood-stained All Progressives Congress agent card were also recovered from the suspects.
Weapons recovered from the suspects included, one AK47 rifle, one assault rifle, six magazines and 112 rounds of live ammunition.
The police spokesman gave the names of the suspects as Noble Nwaerema, Dike Deinpiribo, Valentine Alalibo, Onwunari Warmate and Iloke Stephen.
Awunah narrated that one of the suspects, Nwaerema, was arrested on the Election Day, December 10, by operatives of the Rivers State Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, along the Rumusi Elele Road.
He added that the suspect claimed that he was recruited by a youth leader in Itu-Ikwere community alongside eight others imported from a neighbouring state.
“They invaded Emohua Local Government and carted away electoral materials meant for polling units within the area; intelligence report confirmed the electoral materials were taken to a government facility and escorted by armed personnel,” Awunah stated.
He stated further that the other suspects being paraded, namely: Deinpiribo, Alalibo, Warmate and Stephen, belonged to a group of cultists and professional political thugs.
The police spokesman said that the boys claimed to have been hired by one Boma Goodhead who procured two Ak47 rifles and commissioned his driver, one Iryo to convey the weapons in his black Toyota Prado SUV and handed same to the suspects in Degema.
Awunah noted that the suspects were responsible for several armed attacks that took place during the elections in places like Abonnema, Emuoha, Elele, Eteche and Omoku where a police officer was gruesomely killed.
“The rifles and 112 rounds of ammunition were recovered from them, other members of the killer gang fled and detectives are on their trail,” he said.
Awunah also disclosed that some security personnel were arrested for professional misconduct, “actions, inactions, omission and commission that were detrimental to the electoral process.”