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2023 Elections: Police arrest

2023 Elections: Police arrest ‘varsity lecturer’ for allegedly impersonating INEC official in Cross River

2023 Elections: Police arrest

A lecturer of the Department of Philosophy in the University of Calabar, Gabriel Agabi Akwaji has been arrested by the police in Cross River State for allegedly impersonating an ad hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Dr. Dominic Abakedi, in the Presidential and National Assembly polls held on Saturday February 25. 


Akwaji, who wore INEC reflective jacket, was arrested at the collation centre in Okpoma, Yala Local Government Area of state with a fake Bi-Modal Voter Accreditation System, BVA Machine. 


Dr. Abakedi was posted to Yache ward of Yala Local Government Area, but Akwaji claimed that Abakedi told him to represent him and execute the job.


Trouble began when the collation officer could not be found after elections concluded at 6:00PM on Saturday. Mr. Akwaji is said to have arrived the Okpoma, Yala Local Government Area headquarters at about 2:00 PM on Sunday in the company of chieftains of a political party after staying incommunicado since Saturday evening.


When his whereabouts was questioned, a fracas ensued leading to the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the State, Alphonsus Eba Esq. getting involved in a shirt grabbing match with the agent of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Sunday EmalujI. 


Thereafter, Mr. Akwaji was arrested and brought to the INEC Area Office in Ogoja, where he claimed he was asked by Dr. Abakedi to replace him. 


A BVAS found in his possession with the following number, 09/18/10/012 was queried and showed that 216 voters were accredited but the result sheets showed 250 votes cast.


The suspect was whisked to the Ogoja Area Command for further interrogation by the Criminal Investigation Unit.


Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in charge of elections in the district, Zannah Shettima, declined comment on the matter, adding that he was yet to be briefed. 


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