BY MAYOWA SAMUEL
Hoodlums on Sunday invaded the Independent National Electoral Commission collation centre for the Ogoja Constituency in Cross River State and destroyed election materials.
They also carted away phones, beat up many ward collation officers and disrupted the collation of results.
It was gathered that trouble started when results from Nkum Irede were announced and some party agents did not accept the figures.
It was also gathered that the Nkum Irede Ward result was the seventh out of the 10 wards in Ogoja Local Government Area and the People’s Democratic Party was clearly leading.
The collation officer for Mbube East 1, Paul Bassey Inyang, who was attacked, said the hoodlums were over 30 in number.
He said his laptop and duplicate result sheets were all destroyed.
“One of my colleagues is still being treated in the theatre and I pray he comes out alive as heavy stones and planks were used on him,” Inyang said.
The electoral officer for Ogoja Local Government Area, Peter Kolo, said the hoodlums broke all security barriers to disrupt collation and destroy election results.
“As I talk to you, we have recovered all the results from both the BVAS and uploaded results in the portal and we will soon resume announcing results from the three remaining wards,” he said.
The Ogoja Constituency collation officer, Timothy Ellah, said he was beaten by thugs who carted away some result sheets, adding that he sustained minor injuries.
“We have however recovered all the results and we are ready to resume announcing the results,” he said.
The governorship collation officer for Ogoja Local Government, John Undie, said they were lucky to have survived the attack, adding that everybody inside the hall was beaten.
He, however, commended the police for deploying more officers to ward off the invaders.
The Cross River State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Irene Ugbo, confirmed the attack, adding that the suspected thugs have been arrested.