Police, INEC Explain ‘Specimen’ Ballot Papers Impounded in Sokoto

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Raji Bello in Sokoto

The Nigerian Police in Sokoto State yesterday debunked rumours of already thumb-printed ballot papers circulating in the state. Addressing journalists at a press conference, the Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO), ASP Abdullahi Sadiq, explained that the purported ballot papers were not genuine but specimen in nature.

He narrated that a police patrol team had intercepted one Shehu Abdullahi who was in the possession of two bags loaded with specimen of the ballot papers.

The PPRO added that the specimen ballots were already thumb-printed on Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) logo.

“After the arrest of the suspect, our investigation shown that the ballot papers were just specimen which was boldly inscribed on the papers. We have invited INEC officials to further confirm our position which was corroborated. The suspect is still in our custody.

“We want to clarify that the ballot papers were never genuine but specimen which is allowed in accordance to electoral guides and as part of voters’ education,” Sadiq explained.

Also speaking, the INEC Head of Voters Education and Publicity in Sokoto State, Mohammed Musa, noted that the ballot papers were specimen of the 2015 general election.

According to Musa, “The specimen papers were not that of 2019 general elections. It was the previous elections held in 2015. Political parties have the right to enlighten the voters on election process,” adding that all campaigns had stopped since 12 p.m. last Friday.”