The state House of Assembly seat became vacant following the death of Kenneth Ogba in June this year.
Saturday’s shooting incident amidst the bye-election was recorded at Irri Ikpide community following misunderstandings among the voters at one of the polling units.
Eyewitnesses said the incident occurred at about 3.15pm when the armed hoodlums stormed Irri Ward 10, Polling Unit 5, to snatch away ballot papers used for the election.
The hoodlums, who were reportedly armed with AK47 rifles, shot sporadically into the air to scare away eligible voters before one of them shot directly at the victim for a reason that could not yet be ascertained.
Prior to the sad incident, the election had been relatively peaceful at the unit, witnesses said.
But the bye-election had earlier in the day started on a shaky note at many polling units as the INEC newly-introduced Bimodal Voter Accreditation System for the poll was reportedly rejecting Permanent Voters Card of eligible voters.
It was observed that the BVAS device which ought to simultaneously accredit voters with both fingerprints and photos to ensure the authenticity of the votes, was failing in some polling units across the constituency.
Speaking with newsmen at his unit, Irri ward 11, unit 6 Idheze, Chief Ross Uredi, who had issues with the machine after being rejected severally, urged voters to exercise patience with the process in order to cast their votes.
Also, while speaking at his Uro-Irri country home, after casting his vote at his unit, the Director General of the campaign organisation, Isoko south constituency 1 of the Peoples Democratic Party, who is also a former Chairman of the Isoko South Local Government Area, Sir Constantine Ikpokpo, described the election as “very interesting,” noting, however, that the only hiccup he got from some units was that the machines were not working well.
The bye-election was contested by candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ovuakpoye Evivie; Michael Paul of the Social Democratic party; and Dr Ogaga Ifowodo of the All Progressives Congress.
But the Resident Electoral Commissioner in charge of Delta State for the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr Monday Udoh-Tom, told journalists that even though some technical glitches were noticed in some polling units, the exercise was smooth in most part of the constituency.
“To generalise that the machines flopped in the ongoing election was unfair,” he said.
The REC said, “Out of 84 polling units, eight BVAS had issues. Four were as a result of wrong positioning of the cameras. It means that the voter position for snapping was noisy, meaning, the background of the pictures does not conform with BVAS requirements.”