One killed as Delta bye-election turns bloody in Isoko

September 11, 2021
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One person, said to be a voter, has been shot dead at the ongoing Delta State House of Assembly bye-election to Isoko South Constituency 1 in Delta State.

The incident happened at about 3:15 pm on Saturday when the armed hoodlums allegedly stormed Irri Ward 10, polling unit 5, in an attempt to snatch away ballot papers used for the election.

Sources said the hoodlums, who were armed with AK47 rifles, shot sporadically in the air to scare away voters before one of them shot at the victim for a reason yet unknown.

The victim was later conveyed in the pool of his blood via a bus for medical attention at an undisclosed facility.

In the ensuing commotion, the hoodlums, according to eyewitnesses, went away with the voting materials.

Witnesses said there were gunshots and violence in some other parts of the constituency including Emede where election materials were also snatched.

The State Police Public Relation Officer, DSP Bright Edafe could not be reached on the shooting.

Meanwhile, there was a stalemate in several polling units during the bye-election for Isoko South constituency 1 as the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) newly introduced Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for the election, reportedly rejected the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) of eligible voters.

The BVAS device, which was meant to simultaneously accredit voters with both fingerprints and photos to ensure the authenticity of the voting process, failed in some polling units across Isoko South Local Government Area.

Reacting to the malfunctioning of the BVAS, INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in charge of Delta State, Mr Monday Udoh-Tom, said that though there were some technical glitches experienced in some polling units, the exercise was smooth in most parts of the constituency.

He disclosed that the technical problem experienced in some areas, which was later sorted out, came from just eight BVAS out of 84 that were deployed.

“Out of 84 polling units, eight BVAS had issues. Four were as a result of the wrong positioning of the cameras. It means that the voter position for snapping was noisy, meaning, the background of the pictures does not conform With BVAS requirements,” he explained.

According to him, four of the machines were later replaced to enable voting to commence, maintaining that no one was disenfranchised in the polling units that experienced the technical hitch.

However, the voting exercise witnessed a good turn-out and was relatively peaceful until the sad incident in the afternoon.

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