The police in Delta State has said it rescued 18 out of the 22 passengers on board the boat that capsized enroute Koko headquarters of Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, Sunday morning.
Unconfirmed reports had it that no fewer than 12 Independent National Electoral Commission Staff, Ad hoc workers and security personnel sent to Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State to conduct the Saturday Governorship and Houses of Assembly elections in the Area were reportedly missing after the elections.
But the INEC Resident Electoral Commission (REC) in Delta State, Dr. Cyril Omorogbe, who confirmed the boat mishap, said both staff and Ad-hoc workers of the Commission were not involved in the mishap.
Omorogbe said: “I understand that my staff members are not involved, they were all safe and the Ad-hoc staff are safe. The actual details have got to me right now and I don’t think the mishap affected the materials because it happened later in the day, from what I know”.
Our correspondent gathered that the boat was also conveying election materials and about 20 persons, adding that the boat capsized around Ebrohimi community creek in Warri North Local Government Area of the state.
A security source said the incident happened when the victims were returning to Koko, the headquarters of Warri North at the end of the exercise on Saturday.
The source, who declined comment on the number of casualty, said 12 persons were initially declared missing before the police rescue team was dispatched to the Area.
Meanwhile, Delta police authorities said the report available to the Command revealed that the boat conveying twenty two (22) passengers, three (3) Policemen and nineteen (19) members of the community, returning from ward 3 Ebrohimi to Koko Jetty after the elections, capsized along the water way at Ureju community.
“Eighteen passengers including three (3) Policemen and fifteen (15) natives have been successfully rescued, while four (4) passengers are still missing, two (2) of the rescued passengers have been rushed to the Oghara General Hospital.
“No INEC official or NYSC member was involved in the boat mishap as earlier rumored. The search for the missing passengers is still in progress”, the police statement signed by the Command’s acting Public Relations Officer, ASP Chucks Orisewezie stressed.