Police arrest Bayelsa REC, two INEC staffs over alleged electoral fraud

A special squad from the Nigerian Police Force headquarters in Abuja has arrested the Bayelsa state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Pastor Monday Tom Udoh and two other officials of the Commission over alleged criminal violation of electoral laws, conspiracy and indicting reports during the conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly elections in the state.

Also arrested by the Police are the Electoral Officer (EO) Mr Jude T. Nabie and the Assistant Electoral Officer (AEO), Mrs Doris Asiayei, in charge of Nembe local governmenr area of the state.

Blueprint gathered that the special squad   arrived Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital on Thursday and effected the arrest.

Sources within the state headquarters of INEC told newsmen that Pastor Monday Tom Udoh was taken to the Bayelsa state Police headquarters and released on bail after making statement.

 “He was asked to make statement and released on personal recognition. He was however asked to report to Abuja,” the source said.

The arrest was link with alleged violation of electoral laws, Conspiracy and contradicting reports by the EO during the last Presidential/ National Assembly elections.

According to the INEC source, “The REC and the EO were also accused of forcing some of the Ad-hoc-staffs such as the SPO’s and PO’s to  write statements against what really transpired during the elections, especially in the Seven wards of Bassambiri area of Nembe local government area.”

  The arrested Resident Electoral Commissioner and others are still in police custody at the Forces Head-Quarter Abuja.

When our correspondent visited INEC office in Yenagoa, staff of the Commission were seen discussing the arrest but many declined to comment on the development.

A staff who however, pleaded anonymity confirmed the development, saying the arrest was not ordered by the Election Petition Tribunal.

  ” the police are investigating the criminal aspect of the respondent complaints,” he said.

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