Nigeria: Police Arrest 128 for Election Offences

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24 February 2019

Police arrested a total 128 people across the country for electoral offences in the past few days.

Police spokesman, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Frank Mba said the offences range from homicide-related crimes, vote trading, ballot box snatching, impersonation and malicious damage, amongst others.

He also said 38 assorted weapons and a cache of explosives were also recovered.

He further said the IGP has directed the Special Election Investigation Team (SEIT) to immediately commence discrete investigation of all security related infractions during the election and ensure that all persons found culpable are brought to book in accordance with the law.

He said the IGP expressed deep concerns over continuous use of hateful and inflammatory comments capable of inciting Nigerians against one another, especially by politicians and their followers.

He warns, "While the Force is not in the business of censoring Nigerians or abridging their constitutional rights of freedom of speech, it will not hesitate to rein in the full wrath of the law on any person(s) found wanting in this regard."

Mba said, "The IGP, while noting that only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is authorised by law to announce election results, warns all those, especially the social media users, engaging in unlawful announcement and dissemination of election results to desist forthwith or be ready to face the consequences of their actions."

He said the IGP has directed the Zonal AIGs and Command CPs to ensure adequate post-election security arrangement in their Areas of Responsibilities (AORs), with special focus on Collation Centres and other vulnerable points to ensure no breach of peace of any kind is recorded across the country.

Mba, when contacted by Daily Trust said the Police is not aware of the arrest of Buba Galadima a political ally and campaigner for Atiku Abubakar the presidential candidate of the People's Democratic Party (PDP).

Also contacted, the spokesman of the Department of State Service (DSS) Peter Afunanya said the Service did not arrest Galadima.

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