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Police arrest 323 suspected electoral offenders

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A Nigerian police SWAT personnel member sits alert with a machine gun on a vehicle stationed at the entrance of Rivers State collation centre in Port Harcourt, Southern Nigeria, on February 26, 2019. – Incumbent Muhammadu Buhari kept a lead over his main rival in the race to become Nigeria’s next president, with nearly half of all states declared. The death toll from violence linked to the vote meanwhile increased from 39 to 47, according to the Situation Room umbrella group of civil society election monitors. (Photo by Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP)

The Nigeria Police Force said it has arrested 323 persons across the country for alleged electoral offences during the Feb. 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

The force had earlier arrested 128 persons for alleged electoral offences.

The Acting Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr Mohammed Adamu, disclosed this at a meeting with officers in the ranks of Commissioners of Police and above on Monday in Abuja.

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He said that two officers of the force paid the supreme price while some others were assaulted and injured while discharging their duties during the polls.

Adamu said that the Special Election Investigation Team (SEIT) had been directed to investigate all the cases, liaising with INEC to ensure prosecution.

He said that the perpetrators of the violence would be fished out and brought to justice no matter their status.

The police boss reassured Nigerians and the international community of the commitment of the force to work closely with INEC and other sister security agencies towards a peaceful election.

He said the personnel of the force should remain civil, firm, professional and apolitical in the discharge of their duties.
Adamu warned all political actors against violence and urged them to play the game in line with the Electoral Act.

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“Doing otherwise shall attract the full and appropriate response from the police and other security agencies,” he said.

On the possibility of arming personnel at polling units, he insisted that no policeman would be allowed to carry arms at poling units.

He explained that it was against the electoral act and international law for officers to use arms at polling units.

Adamu said that the force would continue to pay officers their allowances ahead of their deployment for election duty.

He said that the meeting was aimed at debriefing strategic commanders and evaluating the performances of officers during the last elections.

The police boss said the meeting would also afford the force to perfect plans for the March 9 Governorship and State Assembly elections.


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