A team of soldiers attached to 35 Artillery Brigade, Alamala in Ogun State, on Tuesday intercepted a truck load of 3,600 ballot boxes at the Odogbolu area of the state.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Muyiwa Adejobi, confirmed the story, saying he was only aware of one truck loaded with 3,600 ballot boxes that was intercepted.
He said: “A team of soldiers (OP MESA) attached to 35 Artillery Brigade, Alamala intercepted a vehicle at the Odogbolu axis of the Sagamu-Ijebu-Ode expressway containing about 3,600 ballot boxes.
“After they couldn’t ascertain the authenticity of the ballot boxes, they (the soldiers) handed them over to the police at the Ijebu-Ode Area Command to commence investigation.
“Right now, we had 3,600 ballot boxes belonging to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“Some top officials of INEC at wharf have called us to say that the consignment belongs to INEC and that the ballot boxes are meant for the INEC office at Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
“The INEC official said the contractor or agent would come to the police headquarters with relevant documents to clarify the authenticity of the vehicle.
“The items are with us at the command while we are waiting for the relevant documents of the items,” the PPRO said.
When asked whether a particular political party had been linked with the incident, the police spokesperson cautioned, saying it would be premature to jump into conclusion on the status of the bollot boxes.
He said: “It is too early for us to say that those items are illegal but with information, we have been told they are owned by INEC. If we cannot see those documents to verify, we will take the necessary steps.”
Responding to the allegation that two trucks had escaped, Adejobi said: “I am aware of just one vehicle which contained 3,600 ballot boxes.
“One person is in custody in connection with the vehicle and if there are more than one vehicle, our officers are on the road to apprehend them.
“An original document was tendered and from security agents and governmental agencies, particularly INEC.
“All the documents that we have are pointing towards INEC as the owner but we are not relying on that.”
However, the vehicle and its content had has been handed over to the police in Ijebu-Ode area command.