Navy apprehends another suspected PVC thief in Akwa Ibom

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Patrick Odey, Uyo

The Nigerian Navy Ship Jubilee in the Ikot-Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, has arrested one Stephen Gad in connection with the theft of 145 Permanent Voter Cards and 27 Temporary Voter Cards in the state.

The suspect, a fisherman by trade, was arrested by operatives of the command on January 3, 2019, in the Eastern Obolo Local Government Area of the state during a routine patrol to sanitise the environment for the forthcoming general elections.

Speaking with journalists on Thursday, the Commander, the Nigerian Navy Ship Jubilee, Commodore Aderiyina Akinwale, said the operatives were detailed to go in search of cultists and militants but they later got intelligence about a man suspected to be in possession of PVCs in the area.

Acting on a tip-off, he said the operatives swung into action and arrested the suspect, adding that during a search, a locally-manufactured pistol was found in Gad’s possession.

Akinwale stated, “Our men were on routine patrol for the upcoming elections to ensure that everything is safe. They went into a certain community, because we had been told of the activities of some militants and cultists there.

“While in the community, intelligence got to the operatives that there was a person suspected to be in possession of PVCs, so my men, led by the officer in charge, searched the person’s accommodation and discovered 145 PVCs and 27 TVCs.

“So, we arrested him immediately because once you find such things with an individual, you know it is abnormal and eventually before the search ended, my men discovered a locally-made pistol in his accommodation. We know that when you have something like that in your possession, it means there must be something abnormal; it is not usual.”

He added that the command had completed preliminary investigation into the matter and would hand over the suspect to the police and the Independent National Electoral Commission for further investigation.

Akinwale advised youths to stay away from crime because it would not pay them.

The suspect claimed that he had not been in his community for a long time as a result of political challenge, adding that when he eventually travelled, he was accosted in his house by security men, who conducted a search of the house.

On how he came in possession of the PVCs and TVCs, Gad stated, “My people are fishermen and they are not living in our place, so they cannot carry these things and go to fish with them.

“They parked them and kept them with me during the crisis in the Amazaba community in Eastern Obolo and they said during the elections, they would come and collect them.”

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