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INEC Officers Arrested Over Illegal PVC Unit In church’s Premises

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Police in Lagos have arrested three officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for creating an illegal permanent voter’s card (PVC) registration unit at St Brigid’s Catholic Church, Ijeshatedo, Lagos.
The INEC officials arrested are Mr. Ikechukwu Izuchukwu, Mrs. Rita and Miss Agbokhna Ebigun.

They were nabbed by the operatives from the Ijeshatedo police station following a complaint by the Chairman, Residents Association, Raji Azeem, of attempt to disenfranchise some members of the public.

Azeem told the police that the officials conspired with a parish priest of the church to use the church’s auditorium to register members.

According to him, “The INEC registration officers, according to INEC provision should be stationed at 9A, Imam Thanni, but this was not to be. We have been awaiting their arrival, but when we discovered that they were not forthcoming, we were worried. Only for us to discover that they have been camped at the St Brigid’s Catholic Church auditorium on the influence of the parish priest registering only members of the church while we were in the queue waiting. It was a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise us.

“The House 9A Imam Thanni registration centre has remained a constant polling unit since 1983. But the priest decided to play the religious cards by inducing the electoral officers to register only his church members.

“The church members have been around since 5a.m. but we were unaware of their plan until we busted them in action and handed them over to the police at the Ijeshatedo police station. The arrested INEC officers have been crying and begging for their misdeeds.

“To enable them continue with their work, the INEC officials were granted bail by the IPO, Inspector Shola who instructed them to return after the exercise and that they should discontinue the exercise at the church hall and move to the venue approved by INEC.”

The Lagos State Police Command confirmed that the INEC officials were assigned to another location different from the church’s premises they were found.

The command’s Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, said: “The INEC officials were assigned to Imam Thani Street by House No 9A for today’s exercise. They were, however, found within the church premises.

“Residents raised concerns and informed the police. The DPO Ijeshatedo swung into action and brought the INEC officials to the station.

“Preliminary findings show that a resident of the area who volunteered to transport the officials from their office to the centre was responsible for the mix-up, deliberate or not. Further investigation will reveal.

“Meanwhile, the officials were immediately released to proceed to the correct centre to continue their assignment.”

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