Over 100 people brought in from Lagos State, the capital of Plateau State Jos and other parts Nigeria, who intended to register as voters in Anambra State in the ongoing voters revalidation exercise were on August 25, 2013, Sunday, arrested and detained by the State Police.
Among those apprehended were two members of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ad hoc staff who were the registration and assistant registration officers for Unit 013, Ovala Square, Igbariam. They are National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members recruited to register voters during the revalidation exercise.
Two luxurious buses that were used to bring the arrested voters from Lagos and Jos for the exercise were also impounded by the State Police.
It would be recalled that INEC had disclosed in the beginning of August that there were 93,000 fake voters in Anambra State.
The ‘imported voters,’ who were arrested at Igbariam, Anambra East Local Government Area said they had been mobilised and brought in to register by the Ifeanyi Ubah Fan Club, a political group made up of the supporters of Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah, one of the governorship aspirants for the November 16 election in the state.
One of the detainees, Mr. Bonaventure Ofieli, who said he was a trader based in Jos, said the Ifeanyi Ubah Fan Club in Jos had provided them with the fund for their trip to Anambra State to register for the election. He said he hailed from Ozubulu in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Ubah is a governorship aspirant of the Labour Party. The party is due to hold its primaries on Wednesday in Awka, the Anambra State capital.
Chief Dan Ulasi, the Director-General of the Ifeanyi Ubah Campaign Organisation, has condemned the arrest of the voters, said there was nothing wrong in mobilising registered voters to come home to vote.
Chied Ulasi also added that the innocent citizens were being unnecessarily punished for offering to obey a national call to exercise their franchise.
He said the organisation might go to court to seek remedy for the detained persons.
Mr. Chinedu Obidigwe, the Chairman of Anambra East Local Government, said his attention had been drawn to the registration unit in front of the palace of the traditional ruler of Igbariam, Igwe N.N. Kelly by locals, who claimed to have noticed strange faces about to get registered.
He said on getting to the unit, he interviewed the strangers, who admitted that they were brought in to register as voters but that they were not residing in the area.