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2023 National Assembly elections: Kumalia accuses INEC, police in Maiduguri of conspiracy to tamper with evidence 

The Senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the February 25 National Assembly election Hon Ibrahim Kumalia has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Maiduguri, the Ad-Hoc staff and the Electoral officer for Mafa local government, all in Borno state of collusion and conspiracy to tamper with evidence. 

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, Hon Mohammed Kumalia also accused the Divisional Police Officer Bulumkutu Police station Borno state of being a willing tool helping suspected ballot box stuffers to  cover their tracks in their act to tamper with evidence. 

The PDP candidate also said he believed that the same thing had happened in Dikwa, Kala Balge and Maiduguri Metropolitan Local governments, all within Borno Central senatorial district. 

Kumalia who is challenging the outcome of the Borno Central senatorial district election in the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Maiduguri, wondered how many local governments areas ballot materials have been tampered with after the elections. 

Explaining how his team of lawyers uncovered the alleged plot, the PDP senatorial candidate said he had obtained a court order to inspect materials used for the elections, which included the ballot boxes, used and unused ballot papers as well as obtain Certified True Copies of the result and collation sheets, among others. 

“While our team of lawyers were undertaking the inspection of materials on 22nd March 2023, our inspectors discovered some INEC Ad Hoc Staff sorting out and rearranging and counting ballot papers and stuffing them in different Ballot Boxes in respect of Mafa, Kala Balge and Dikwa Local Governments. 

“Our inspectors immediately raised alarm and accordingly reported the incident to the Borno State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC). 

He stated that “We have petitioned the Inspector General of Police and the Director General, Department of State security Service (DSS) to immediately direct investigation into this matter with a view to apprehending the culprits and prosecute them in accordance with the law. 

Specifically, we have requested the IGP to direct the Borno State Commissioner of Police to (1) immediately arrest the two Ad-Hoc Staff of INEC by names Madu (Male) and Rifkatu (female) that were caught thumbprinting and stuffing ballot boxes in respect of Mafa Local Government right inside the premises of INEC office in Maiduguri. 

“Investigate the culpability of the INEC officials that caused the release of the suspects and also took back the ballot papers and indelible ink that were handed over to the police as exhibit.

“Arrest the Electoral Officer for Mafa Local government and the INEC officials that collected the bundles of Ballot Papers (Exhibit) and returned it to the INEC office, ostensibly to continue with their tampering of evidence, and  investigate the actions of the DPO of Bulumkutu Police Station with a view to determine the level of his connivance to suppress investigation of crime. 

“Invite the Electoral Officers for Dikwa, Kala Balge and Maiduguri Metropolitan Local Governments and investigate their actions to determine the level of interference with evidence in respect of electoral materials for their local governments. 

“We believe that there is collusion and conspiracy between the INEC office Maiduguri, the Ad-Hoc staff and the Electoral officer for Mafa Local Government to commit the offence of tampering with evidence and they found the DPO Bulumkutu Police station willing to help them cover their tracks. 

“We also believe the same thing has happened in respect of Dikwa, Kala Balge and Maiduguri Metropolitan Local governments, all within Borno Central Senatorial District. With the revelations we are seeing, only God knows how many local governments election materials have been tampered with after the elections.”



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