6 December 2009

Nigeria: Ondo Bye-Election - Police Arrest Senator Ogunniya, Three Reps

Chairman Senate committee on Police Affairs, Senator Gbenga Ogunniya and three members of the House of Representatives were yesterday arrested by men of the Ondo state Police command for allegedly disrupting the bye election into Akoko South East and South West federal constituency

The federal lawmakers arrested along side Ogunniya who is spending his third term in the Senate were; the Vice Chairman, House of Representatives committee on Sports, Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye, Hon Temitayo Fawehinmi and Hon Kehinde Adedeji.

They were allegedly apprehended by the Assistant Police Commissioner in charge of operations, Mr. Tunde Gbolaranmi in a convoy of two Peugeots 407, two Peugeots 406 and 2 buses at ward six, Owolaja, in Oka.

The police also arrested about twenty thugs that were allegedly hired by the Chairman senate committee from Kogi state and twenty mobile policemen.

Six ballot boxes stuffed with fake ballot papers and several dangerous weapons were also allegedly recovered from the national assembly members who were detained at Oka Divisional police headquarters as at the time of filing this report.

The Assistant Inspector General of police (AIG), Mr. Murkta Abass who was sent from Abuja to monitor the election confirmed that Oguniya and three other House of Representatives members were being interrogated by the police.

He said he was posted to the state to ensure that the bye-election was hitch free.

When contacted the State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Dr. Omotayo Dairo said the National Assembly members were doing what the Deputy Governor of the State, Alhaji Ali Olanusi sent them.

Meanwhile, the election was peaceful in all the wards and areas visited by our correspondent. There was massive turn out of voters in Akungba, Supare, Oka and some other towns covered . Voting materials were brought to the venue of the election around 9.45 while voters cast their votes without intimidation or harassment.

There was also heavy presence of security operatives at every poling unit to prevent breakdown of law and order. Commenting on the election, the State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ali commended the people of the area for coming out to vote peacefully. He said the turn out showed that if election is properly conducted, the right candidate will always emerge.

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