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12.04.2012 Politics

Seven Arrested Over Missing Memory Chip,Pen Drive

By Moses Dotsey Aklorbortu - Daily Graphic
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Six agents of the Electoral Commission (EC) and an eligible voter have been arrested by the police in separate incidents concerning a missing computer memory chip and a data storage pen drive.

The missing items, according to the police, contained the bio-data of registered voters at registration centres at Kedjebrie and Sekondi.

The six EC trained agents arrested by the Kwesimintsim Police on Monday were engaged by the commission for the registration exercise. They could not account for the missing memory chip containing the biometric data of the registered voters in the second phase of the registration process at Kedjebrie in the Ahanta West District.

In the second incident at the Club 51 Registration Centre in Sekondi, an eligible voter, Leonard Tompori, was arrested and remanded into custody for stealing a data storage pen drive containing registration data.

After successfully going through the registration process, after which he was handed his voters card, Tompori is alleged to have stolen the pen drive belonging to the EC.

The police said the stealing of the computer memory chip resulted in the stalling of the registration process on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

The EC is yet to replace the laptop for the process to continue but regional and district officials of the EC have assured the public that the laptop will be replaced for the registration process to continue.

They also said they were doing everything possible to retrieve the stolen data.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Ahanta West District Electoral Officer, Mr Nat A. Quaye, said it was the norm for EC officials to pack and deposit all biometric equipment at a designated place after close of work.

He explained that when the EC agents closed on the said day, all the equipment, including the laptops, was packed into a container for safe-keeping.

However, the data entry clerk decided that he would not allow the laptop to be kept in the container and always went home with it, his reason being that he did not want what happened in the Central Region involving the stealing of a laptop to happen at Kedjebrie, Mr Quaye stated.

“The data clerk said on his way home, he got a lift from somebody and when he got home he did not realise that the chip was not in the drive of the laptop until the next day when he reported for work,” he said.

Mr Quaye said a report was made to him and he informed the Kwesimintsim District Police who arrested the six to help in their investigations.

When contacted, the Western Regional Officer of the EC, Mr Opoku Mensah, confirmed the incident and said the EC would do everything possible to ensure that the registration process continued at the Kedjebrie centre.

The Ahanta West District Police Commander, Supt Akolgo Y. Ayamga, told graphic.com.gh that the police had launched investigations to establish the facts.

In the case involving Tompori, the Sekondi District Police commander, Chief Supt C. Bediako, said the suspect went through the registration process successfully.

He said immediately he was handed his ID card, Tompori picked the pen drive without the EC agents realising it.

Chief Supt Bediako said after hours of search, the EC agents suspected Tompori and were able to trace him to a ghetto in Sekondi where the pen drive was found on him and he was arrested.

The six EC agents, he said, had been granted bail of GH¢2,000, with one surety each, while Tompori had been remanded in police custody.

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