The Sokoto state police command has dismissed rumour of arrest of a vehicle loaded with thumb-printed ballot paper in favour of a particular political party in Sokoto state.
It however said what was intercepted was specimen of ballot papers.
The spokesman of the command, ASP Muhammad Sadiq, made the clarification at a joint press conference with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Sokoto.
He explained: “On Sunday, the 17th of February, a team of patrol men led by OC Crack Squad, ASP Ibrahim Abaras, arrested and brought to the state CID one Shehu Maidamma with sample thumb-printed balloted paper belonging to the PDP, on interrogation it was found out that the ballot papers were only specimen and not real ballot papers.”
He added: “In doing so, the police found out that these are for the purpose of enlightenment, they are simply specimen and all parties can have specimen of ballot papers in order to enlighten the public and these are considered acts of last minute campaigns.”
The PPRO asserted: “So, there was never a vehicle loaded with thumb-printed ballot papers as being insinuated. We are calling on the general public to desist from spreading rumour that would create unnecessary tension in the state.”
According to Sadiq, the specimens were impounded in the command while the said politician was still under the police custody for further investigation.
He said the command had deployed its men to the nooks and crannies of the state to ensure hitch-free elections in the state.
Also speaking, the spokesman of INEC, Muhammad Musa, said political parties could produce ballot paper specimens for the purposes of educating voters.