The police in Delta State have arraigned two suspects before Magistrate Court 1 sitting in Asaba on a four-count charge of conspiracy and stealing of sensitive election materials belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The two suspects, Onyeani Chika and Donatus Anumba, who appeared before Magistrate P.I. Uzomcha, were said to have conspired with others at large to steal 20 result sheets otherwise known as form EC 8A (1) for the 2015 House of Assembly Elections in Delta State, showing elections results of units submitted by various local governments of Delta State.
The state Police Command had stated in a certified true copy of the report of investigation into the alleged crime that a prima facie case of forgery and falsification have been established.
The report has it that some of the persons arrested and detained were officials of the Labour Party (LP).
The report further revealed that among those arrested and interrogated in connection with the incident are Chief Tony Ezegwu, who is the Delta State Labour Party chairman and Onodawerho Esiri , the prime suspects in the report.
The report also stated that “the recovered and identified result sheets are sensitive materials that should not be found outside the custody of INEC or officials of INEC and that the person that stole the result sheet is the person that stands to gain advantage at the Electoral Petition Tribunal if INEC could not produce the result sheets when the tribunal demands for it.”
The suspects were also alleged to have stolen a total of 117 result sheets otherwise known as Form EC 8A for the 2015 Governorship Elections in Delta State, showing results of units submitted by various local governments of Delta State.
Other changes preferred against the accused in Case No: CMA/495C/2015, are the forging of 22 copies of Form EC 25B and unlawfully allowing sensitive materials (Election Results) out of their custody.
According to the Prosecutor, Inspector Bassey Eko, the offences are punishable under Criminal Code and Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
The accused, who are employees of INEC however pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them and were granted bail in the sum of N500,000 each with a surety of not less than level 14 in the Civil Service, who should be resident in Asaba.
The matter has been adjourned to September 22, 2015 for commencement of trial proceedings.