Kogi bye – election marred by ballot snatching, one person dead


An alleged ballot box snatcher in Kogi State, is reportedly dead after a pistol in his pocket triggered and killed him instantly in a bid to snatch a ballot box at the NEPA area voting unit when he was accosted.

An Eye witness account has it that the suspect had a shotgun in his pocket which triggered, killing him as some voters wrestled with him.

Another account said the suspect stabbed a party loyalist who tried to prevent him from snatching the ballot box which angered other party members who swooped on him and stabbed him in the neck and he died before help could reach him.

The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, William Aya, confirmed the incident and said that the deceased was a suspected political thug who invaded the voting center with a view to snatching the ballot box but was overpowered by the parties’ supporters and got killed.

The police image maker however denied the knowledge of him having a shot gun in his pocket which triggered ans also said that the corpse of the suspect had been deposited at the Federal Medical Center Mortuary, Lokoja, investigation is on going to arrest all those involved in the killing.

Meanwhile, the bye – election to fill the vacant seat in the Lokoja – Kogi Federal Constituency which started on a peaceful note was later marred by violence, vote buying and intimidation in Lokoja.

It is reported that the election was marred by political thugs going from one polling unit to another to perpetrate fraud.

Although policemen and other security agents were seen at the police stations, they looked the other way, while thugs terrorised people.

At the polling unit at Paparanda Square, voting could not hold as thugs invaded the venue, snatching election materials and beating up people queuing to vote.

The same scenario played out at polling units at Mary Primary School, Karaworo, Adnakolo and Crowther Secondary School, where thugs also disrupted voting.

At Adankolo, some thugs threw stones on people queueing to cast their votes at one of the polling units, chasing them away.

Some of voters who came in their vehicles had their windscreens smashed.

At St. Peter’s Primary School, Felele , voters were seen receiving N2, 000 each after being certified to have voted for particular candidates.

Some officials of the Kogi Government could be seen moving from one polling unit to another in convoys, accompanied by heavily armed policemen and other security operatives.

The Federal Commissioner, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in charge of Kogi, Niger and Nasarawa States, Mohammed Haruna, has however, said that the election would be cancelled where discrepancies and violence were recorded.

His words, “INEC will review every case of violence, ballot snatching, voter intimidation and vote buying and take appropriate action”.

He further stated that the rules guiding conduct of elections in Nigeria were clear, noting that election would be voided at any polling unit where rules had been violated.