Two out of the six missing ballot boxes is believed to have been found in Apowa in the Ahanta West constituency of the Western Region. It had recently been reported that six boxes are missing from the new ballot boxes procured for the 2016 general elections.
Reports reveal that two of the missing ballot boxes were picked by a hairdresser, Janet Opare, on Tuesday, 22nd November, 2016 at about 2:30pm. According to the hairdresser who spoke to Citi News, she saw two boxes falling off from a speeding pickup van heading towards Agona Nkwanta on the said Tuesday afternoon.
Janet explained that she was initially not perturbed until she noticed that some school kids wanted to make away with the fallen boxes and then decided to take custody of them. Her aim was just to keep the boxes until the owner eventually comes to claim them.
However, no one came for the boxes until Monday morning when she heard over the radio that some ballot boxes are missing. That was when she made efforts to contact the Citi News correspondent through the help of some friends.
…So I kept them in my shop until this morning when I heard on radio that some boxes were missing. I was assisted by some friends to contact you. That’s all that happened, Janet explained.
The two discovered supposedly missing ballot boxes were taken to the Kwesimintsim police station by some journalists. Calls were also made to contact the regional office of the Electoral Commission after which the Deputy Western Regional Director of the Commission, Godwin Tawiah Okley reported at the police station. He then confirmed that “the two boxes are copies of the new EC ballot boxes for the 2016 general elections”.
The two boxes are now in the custody of the Kwesimintsim Police Command awaiting further investigations.
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Western Region had reported that six out of a number of ballot boxes meant for the December 7 polls are missing. According to the NPP, six ballot boxes went missing when 44 boxes were being transported from the Western Regional Head Office of the Electoral Commission to the various constituencies.
The EC in reaction to the incident promised to replace the missing boxes. But this was unacceptable to a good section of the public, especially members of the opposition who believed that the boxes should rather be found instead of replaced. Critics of the EC’s decision argued that the missing ballot boxes may have been stolen by some unauthorised hands to manipulate the election.
However, the Western Regional Director of the EC, who confirmed the NPP claims explained that the boxes were not stolen but fell off from the moving truck with which they were being transported. He had also indicated that the police is investigating the matter.