Abducted 19 INEC Staff Members Released in Imo

At least nineteen ad hoc staff members of the Independent National Electoral Commission who were abducted on Saturday in Imo State, have been released.

INEC confirmed its ad hoc staff members were kidnapped while on their way to conduct the House of Assembly election in Ideato South Local Government Area of the state.

The staff members were released following intervention by security agents but election materials including BVAS machines are still missing.

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INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner for Imo, Prof. Sylvia Agu, disclosed this development in a statement on Saturday in Owerri.

Agu said:

The attention of the commission has been drawn to a report from Ugbelle Registration Area (06) in Ideato South Local Government Area of Imo state where thugs carted away all electoral materials and took our staff, hostage, for some hours during the March 18 House of Assembly election.

“The security forces were informed and a rescue operation was mounted.

“Presently, all ad hoc staff on hostage have been rescued but no trace of the election materials.

“While the commission remains grateful to the security operatives, it condemns such acts of thuggery, intimidation, and disenfranchisement of voters and urges the public to continue to have confidence in the electoral process.”

The REC also promised to issue a full statement on the matter later.

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