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General News of Friday, 3 November 2017


Ada East: Vigilante group assault Assembly members in DCE poll

Chaos marred the electoral process at Ada East play videoChaos marred the electoral process at Ada East

Members of the Invincible Forces linked to the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) have been accused of allegedly assaulting some Presiding Members of the Ada East District and snatching ballot boxes during the polls to endorse President Akufo Addo’s nominee for District Chief Executive (DCE) for Ada East in the Greater Accra Region, Sarah Dugbakie Pobee.

Presiding Member, Aka Simon Kobla, said he was physically assaulted by the thugs in the presence of the Deputy Minister and District Police commander and dragged out of the hall.

Narrating how things unfolded during voting to Class FM, he said: “I saw many of them in black shirts, well built and claiming that they were National Security, but I said there was nothing for me to identify them by so they should be out of the room. They refused…I even told the Police Commander of Ada Division to take him out but he told me he cannot walk anybody out.”

He continued: “At the end of the voting, when ballot papers were not sorted…they entered and they started beating me up, hitting me with the chairs that the people were sitting on and then dragged me until two of the policemen came to rescue me and I went and sat in a pickup for some time and then I came out and left. They were calling me to come and witness the counting, but I refused because they took the ballot box away and then they changed it.”

He said: “The Regional Electoral Officer went ahead to empty the ballot box and declared her [nominee] as the winner. I’m yet to know the exact figures; I didn’t sign any declaration form.”

Another Assembly member, John Kubi, told Valentina Ofori-Afriyie on Class FM’s 505 programme that: “They (thugs) entered just after the last person voted and the electoral officer was about to open the ballot box. They entered and beat up the Presiding Member and other Assembly members and made away with the ballot box.”

He said their motive was to “declare the nominee at all cost that she must be the DCE for Ada, meanwhile, these Invincible Forces are not coming from Ada but they want to elect a DCE for Ada”.

According to him “they made away with the ballot box and about one hour’s time, they came with it, we were not there. Later we heard they declared the results themselves and said the nominee has won”.

At the end of polls, she secured 27 out of 36 valid votes. This was after two unsuccessful attempts earlier that saw her fall short of the required two-third majority endorsement.

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