Three weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari warned that anyone that snatched a ballot box would be shot dead, a young man who did so has paid with his life in Akwa Ibom State.
The incident comes as an audio went viral indicating a politician negotiating with ex-militants to bring in 20 Hilux pick-up vans with 100 thugs to cause mayhem during the gubernatorial elections in three local government areas, at a fee of N25 million.
The audio indicated that AK 47 guns and General Purpose Machine Guns were to be brought in to do the dirty job.
Nigeria Everyday (www.everyday.ng), listened to the bizzare discussion, which a source said is in the possession of security agencies. It featured a gubernatorial candidate of one of the prominent parties and an ex-militant who was described as General Abe.
In the audio, some of the thugs are to wear military uniforms and are allegedly be given cover by security agents.
The candidate gave his telephone number in the audio. The number was verified as belonging to him by sources. He also made mention of a Senator, whose name was not given in the audio.
The Senator had actually wanted 1,000 thugs brought into the State.
Meantime, soldiers monitoring the conduct of election, according to a media report, in Ukanafun have killed a young man as he made away with a ballot box at a polling unit in Ikot Udo Ossiom village, Ukanafun local government area of Akwa Ibom State.
An eyewitness, one Mrs Elijah, told our correspondent that the young man had attempted to snatch the ballot box in the morning immediately it arrived from INEC but he was stopped by soldiers guiding the polling unit.
It was gathered that the corpse is still lying at the scene of the incident, as the event has thrown the area into mourning.
Additional reports by Daily Trust