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Police arrest 128 for alleged electoral offences

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Police officers wait to escort staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with electoral items to a polling station from a Registration Area Centre after the scheduled opening time of the voting for the Presidential and General election in Port Harcourt, southern Nigeria, on February 23, 2019 (Photo by Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP)

The Nigeria Police Force says it has arrested 128 persons for alleged electoral offences across the country.

A statement by the force spokesman, Frank Mba, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, on Sunday in Abuja, said the offences ranged from homicide-related crimes, vote trading, ballot box snatching, among others.

He said that 38 assorted weapons and a cache of explosives were recovered from the suspects.

Mba added that the Inspector-General of Police ( I-G), Mohammed Adamu, has directed the Special Election Investigation Team to begin an investigation of all the offences.

He said Adamu also directed the team to ensure that persons found culpable were brought to book in accordance with the law.

The spokesman said the I-G has warned against the continuous use of hate speech and comments capable of inciting Nigerians against each other.

He said the force would not hesitate to bring the full wrath of the law on any person(s) found wanting in this regard.

Adamu also warned against unauthorised announcement of election results, especially social media users, adding that only Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was authorised to do so.

He said the police boss has directed the Zonal AIGs and Command CPs to ensure adequate post-election security arrangement in their Areas of Responsibilities (AORs).

Adamu commended Nigerians for the massive turn-out and the orderly conduct during the Saturday elections.

Meanwhile, the United States’ envoy in Nigeria, John Bray, on Sunday called for an end to the violence that has marred elections in Rivers State.

“There has been been enough violence,” Mr Bray reportedly said when he visited Governor Nyesom Wike at the Government House in Port Harcourt on Sunday.

The text of Bray’s comments when he addressed the press at the Government House was shared by Mr Wike’s spokesperson, Simeon Nwakaudu.

Authorities have confirmed at least 12 persons, including a soldier and an ad hoc INEC official, Amakiri Ibisaki, lost their lives in the elections that held yesterday in Rivers State. This forced the commission to declare there was no voting in Bonny and Akuku Toru LGAs.

The envoy was quoted to have further said that: “I am here as an international observer. We have been watching elections in Rivers State.

“I am not here to grade elections or anything like that. I am just here to say that there has been enough violence. Enough people have died. I am here today to speak with all the different candidates and party leaders,” he said.


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