Fresh startling revelations were on Saturday made on the conduct of the Rivers State governorship election, with two senior officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) and a member of the Action Alliance (AA) party disclosing that the exercise was marred by violence, intimidation shooting and killings.
This came few days after both military officials and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, equally told the tribunal that the election fell short of any good standard.
The DSS officials, Benson Chukwuma and Godwin Mbah, who said they each led a team of DSS officials to monitor and provide security at the election, said although things began well at the inception of accreditation on April 11 , the electoral process was disrupted by hired hoodlums midway, thereby preventing proper voting and compilation of results.
Kamuzu Omiete Blankson, who said he acted as the Collation Agent for his party (the AA), said the election was marred by violent sporadic shooting, burning of election materials and intimidation.
The three gave evidence, upon being subpoenaed, at the hearing of the petition by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate in the election, Dakuku Peterside before the Rivers State governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja.
They gave evidence in relation to the conduct of the election in Ogu-Bolu, Andoni and Asari-Toru Local Governments of the state.
Respondents to the petition are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate at the election, Nyesom Wike.
Chukwuma, who testified as the petitioners’ 43rd witness and monitored in Ogu-Bolu LG, said the election was disrupted at a point following attack on election officials by hoodlums.
He alleged that, “In ward 10, units 1, 3 and 5, they (hoodlums) removed original result sheets. It gradually spread to all the other wards. There was serious confusion in the place.
“The police was helpless because the thugs were not afraid of them. I quickly contacted the military to come to the scene. At the sight of the military officers, the people (thugs) started retreating.”