By Olisemeka Obeche
Orient Weekend gathered that the truck with registration number Enugu UNN 148 XA was intercepted by members of an unnamed youth task force in Egbung, Ogoja LGA during routine check of vehicles along Ogoja – Abakaliki highway on Thursday. Although, the unidentified driver made spirited attempts to hoodwink Members of the task force during preliminary interrogation, his inability to present coherent answers on the destination of the sensitive electoral materials gave him away.
According to a witness, Elijah Ugani, the truck was found to be loaded with unused ballot papers belonging to Boki local government for 2015 state constituency election as well as computer hard drives and other secretariat documents of INEC.
He disclosed that: “The driver said he had authority of INEC to move them from Calabar where he claimed he was coming from. But he wasn’t sure where he was going. He first said he was going to INEC headquarters in Abuja. He later said he was going from Local government area to local government areas in the state to mop them up.
“Not long after, he said he was going to Abakaliki then lastly claimed that he was only moving them to Onitsha for one Emmanuel Kalu, who is the buyer. So it was obvious that something is fishy and the truck has been arrested by the youths. Reacting to the development, the resident electoral commissioner (REC) in Cross River, Frankland Briyai, denied knowledge of the truck’s movement or authorized it.
Mr. Briyai, however admitted that the state electoral commission had received directive to destroy all unused ballots papers and that he has further directed that such remaining papers should be transferred from other parts of the state to the capital, Calabar for destruction. The REC then wondered why a truck with such sensitive materials earmarked for destruction was traveling out of the state.
He vowed to carry out investigation with a view of finding out what transpired. This paper learnt that police operatives from Ogoja area command later arrived the scene where the youths were holding the truck and the drive hostage; before transporting the suspicious package to the station.