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Asokore Mampong: two Nigériens arrested during voter registration

Reports say the Nigérien suspects could not provide convincing explanations to either the Electoral Commission (EC) officials or the police regarding their presence at the voter registration centre, leading to their detention and despatch to the police station

Police at Asokore Mampong in the Ashanti Region on Thursday (16 May) apprehended two Nigérien nationals attempting to register in the ongoing voter registration.

Reports say the suspects could not provide convincing explanations to the Electoral Commission (EC) officers and police regarding their presence at the voter registration centre, resulting in their detention and subsequent despatch to the police station.

The first vice-chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Ashanti Region, Noah Owusu, who confirmed the incident to Asaase News, said a search for two other suspects has been launched.

“The two were arrested after one of the suspects ignored earlier warnings that he was not eligible to partake in the process but insisted he was from Kumasi … we kept mute until he proceeded to the EC officer.

“Even it was the EC officer who questioned his identity and that’s where he confirmed that he was indeed a Nigérien.

“So, officials immediately arrested him and took him and his brother to the police station for interrogation,” Owusu said.

However, the two men were subsequently granted bail by the police. Owusu, however, is accusing executives of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Asawase of transporting foreigners to take part in the exercise.

He wants the police to expand their investigations to include such persons of interest.

“In the statement of one of the suspects, he mentioned that some NDC executives, including the constituency organiser, brought them to the registration centre … He is the same person who went to seek bail for the suspects, and this is surprising,” Owusu said.

“We will seek clarity from the police on this. We will not call for his arrest, but we want the police to do a thorough job.”

Meanwhile, attempts to reach NDC executives in the constituency for comments have not been successful.

Despite experiencing nationwide technical challenges during the initial stages, electoral officers in Asokore Mampong had successfully registered a total of 2,304 individuals as of Wednesday (15 May).

However, the process has also seen complications, with six cases of double registration identified and the arrest of the two foreigners.

Reporting by Jonathan Ofori

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