Nigeria: 1,119 Electoral Offenders Are in Detention, Say Police

Abuja — The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has said that 1,119 electoral offenders intercepted during the conduct of the just-concluded general elections in the country are currently in detention.

Force Public Relations Officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Frank Mba, disclosed this during a joint media briefing with the Nigerian Military at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.

Mba said the electoral offenders were arrested during the elections, adding that Akwa Ibom, Imo and Kaduna states have the highest number of arrests.

The spokesman, who further stated that most of the suspects were handed over to the Force by the military for prosecution, said the police force and the military were not at loggerheads contrary to speculations in some sections of the media.

Meanwhile, Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has denied the allegation that the 2019 polls were heavily militarised to serve certain interests.

The DHQ said the large presence of military personnel in some states were as a result of the ongoing internal security operations in the states.

In a related development, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned one Abdulkadir Abdulsalam before Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of the Kwara State High Court, Ilorin, on a two-count charge bordering on bribery.

The EFCC's Acting Spokesperson, Tony Orilade, in a statement yesterday in Abuja disclosed that Abdulsalam on March 9, 2019 during the governorship and House of Assembly elections in Ilorin, Kwara State, was in possession of N120,000, for the purpose of vote-buying.

According to Orilade, the defendant was alleged to have conspired with one Oye Obalola, now at large, to use the money at the polling unit to corruptly induce voters to vote for his candidate.

"He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

"Prosecuting counsel, Nnaemeka Omewa, told the court that the offence was contrary to Section 124 (5), and 130 (a) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and punishable under Section 130 (b) of the same Act.

"The defence counsel, Saka Muhammed, moved an oral application for the bail of his client, arguing that an accused person is presumed innocent until he is proven guilty," Orilade said.

Justice Oyinloye, however, refused the oral application for bail, noting that the court was a court of records, and adjourned to March 28, 2019.

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