A Superintendent of Police, Mr Tafa Michael, who was on election duty on April 11 in Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State, has told the Rivers State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja, that his men caught agents of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP thumb-printing in a house opposite their party’s secretariat at Seme in Tai Local Government Area.
The police officer told the Justice Suleman Ambrosa-led tribunal that over 70 persons, including PDP agents, staff of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the commission’s ad hoc staff and other individuals were arrested by his men shortly after noon on election day and were taken to their office.
Michael added that materials like card readers, ballot papers, vests and ink pad were also among items they recovered from the group who were eventually handed over to the force Criminal Investigation Department, CID after preliminary investigations were concluded.
According to him, “at about 12.45 pm, I was sitting at INEC office when I got a distress call that people were thumb-printing at Seme area. I found my way to the place after asking questions from people on the road. I was eventually directed to the place after sometime. When I got to Seme, I stopped very close to PDP secretariat and asked again. I was informed that the house opposite the PDP secretariat had a lot of people with electoral materials.
“I then came down with my men, cordoned the compound and in the process of doing that, I sighted the patrol vehicle of anti-terrorism squad. I beckoned on them to stop, which they did and I informed them that I needed assistance.
“They joined forces with my men and we entered the compound where we met people thumb-printing on electoral materials, we arrested them. At that point, I called my superior commander and told him the situation. He came down with a lorry with which we evacuated the people and materials to our base in Tai. I took some photographs before leaving the place.
Michael who gave graphic details of all that happened, particularly with reference to ballot-box snatching, the violence and shooting that took place at Tai Local Government Area of the state on April 11 later deposited photo evidence to the tribunal.