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How election observers were attacked in Enugu


Sen. Ayogu Eze, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Enugu governorship candidate

• Police killed my supporter, labeled him unknown observer, Ayogu Eze alleges
• Investigation of Sugar’s death begins in Oyo

The team of election observers who were attacked on Saturday at Enugu State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Ayogu Eze’s residence yesterday said they escaped death by divine intervention. However, the attack by suspected APC angry supporters, who invaded Eze’s Enugu Ezike, Igboeze North residence led to the death of a young man identified as Sunday Odo, younger brother of APC House of Assembly candidate. Odo was hit on the head by a bullet allegedly fired by a policeman attached to the governorship candidate in a bid to scare away the invaders who had held the observers hostage.

The observers were in the residence to interview Eze who earlier boycotted the exercise.They were reported to have gone to the residence with a white bus bearing Enugu State government number and other property belonging to the state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).Narrating their ordeal, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) accredited observers and members of Global Policy Advocate and Leadership Initiative said they narrowly escaped death during the attack.

They were attacked in spite of efforts to identify themselves before Eze’s angry supporters.Speaking to journalists shortly after the police rescued them, they explained that they were neither members of PDP, nor working for any political party.A leader of the team, Frank Ohazulike, said: ”We are independent domestic observers, a team from Global Policy Advocate and Leadership Initiative.”But in his reaction, Eze admitted that the man allegedly killed by the police during Saturday’s election in the state was one of his supporters.

In a statement issued by his Campaign Organisation yesterday, he faulted the stories being bandied around by the police authorities in Enugu that the deceased was an unknown election observer. Eze acknowledged the policeman who fired the fatal shot has also been arrested and handed over to law enforcement agents who are currently handling the matter in accordance with their service rules.

Recalling the gory incidence through his media aide, Mr. Chima Clinton, he noted: “My residence was stormed by two vehicles with Enugu State Government registration numbers, claiming to be carrying election observers. While one of them drove inside the senator’s compound, the other stayed outside the gate. “The vehicles had their numbers masked, rousing the curiosity of our supporters who unmasked them only to reveal the Enugu State number plates.

Meanwhile, the Oyo State Police Command disclosed in a statement in Ibadan yesterday that it commenced investigation of the killing of Temitope Olatoye. Olatoye who was popularly referred to as Sugar, was an active member of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) who was killed by thugs on Saturday during the governorship election in Oyo State.The police said yet-to-be-identified assailants shot Olatoye in the head and assured that the state Police Commissioner (CP) has promised to arrest and prosecute the miscreants who committed the crime.


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