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Ablekuma North: Machomen burn ballot papers
From: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Isaac Essel          Published On: December 8, 2012, 16:20 GMT
 
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Ablekuma North: Machomen burn ballot papers
A group of machomen Saturday morning stormed the collation centre of the Ablekuma North constituency in Accra and set electoral materials ablaze.

Both NPP and NDC parliamentary candidates - Joe Appiah and Ras Mubarak - have been accusing each other of hiring the services of the muscular men, Joy News' Etonarm Sey reported on Saturday.

However, deputy returning officer for the constituency, Owusu Nkansah suspected that the NDC is behind the thugs' action.

Mr Nkansah told Joy News they were at the Kwashieman collation centre tabulating the result when it was detected that the results from a particular polling station was yet to arrive. They were however able to trace the presiding officer for that polling station who came to the centre with the party agents of both parties: the agents certified the result in the presence of all, including the candidates.

He recounted that in the course of collating the results, some machomen “trooped” into the place and threatened that the results would not be accepted, insisting that the election should be rerun.

“Before I could say Jak”, he recalled, the hoodlums holding petrol poured them on the ballot papers and set them on fire.

Mr Nkansah said police were called in to intervene, and some of the thugs were arrested and sent to the Odokor Police Station.

The rest of the materials have been escorted to the police station where Mr Nkansah insists collation would be done and results declared without the burnt papers.

Superintendent Baffour Appenteng, the officer in charge of investigations at the Great Accra Regional Elections Task-Force, confirmed the incident to Joy News.

He said preliminary investigations into the incident led to the retrieval of the can from which petrol was poured over electoral materials at the collation centre and set ablaze.

Supt. Appenteng said three persons arrested in connection with the arson were currently in police custody and would be put before court after investigations were complete.

Meanwhile, hundreds of supporters of both candidates thronged the police station creating confusion. A combine team of police and military personnel are finding it difficult to calm tension down.

Etorney Sey observed that the security would need reinforcement to bring the situation under control.


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