Missing Ballot Papers: Jega Orders Arrest of Electoral Officer
Events leading to the double postponement of the National Assembly elections show that the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, may not be happy. More of his sadness has even stemmed from the fact that the election materials found their way into the hands of those who are not legally mandated to have them. In Lagos, Huhuonline.com learnt that ballot papers supposedly meant for Epe area of the state were discovered in Badagry.
In Osun state, some electoral officers are under fire from the Commission over their role in the disappearance of ballot papers meant for the postponed election.
It was learnt that voting had started in some areas of the state before Professor Jega announced the cancellation of the exercise.
However, shortly after the postponement of the elections, some of the Electoral Officers (EOs) could not account for the ballot papers in their care.
It was gathered that one of the officers, who was deployed in Osun State from Ondo State, claimed that he had burnt the ballot papers, including some that had been thumb-printed.
But, it was learnt, the EO could not identify where the ballot papers were burnt.
A source in the commission said Jega told INEC staff to either sit up or be fired and demanded for the probe of the disappearance of the ballot papers.
'To demonstrate his readiness to deal with erring officials, Jega has ordered immediate arrest of an Electoral Officer (whose name has not been given) in Osun State over disappearance of some ballot papers. The EO said the ballot papers were used last Saturday and he has burnt them.
'But he purportedly 'burnt' the ballot papers without authority from the Resident Electoral Commissioner whom he is responsible to.
'There was a strong suspicion that the affected ballot papers, especially the unused ones, might have been diverted at the prompting of some politicians.
'The EO, who has been detained in Osogbo, is being investigated by the police. From preliminary investigation, the ballots might have been diverted.'