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Election: 128 Arested, as IGP Warns Against Unlawful Declaration of Results

The Nigeria Police High Command, on Sunday, in Abuja, announced that 128 persons were arrested, nationwide, for electoral infractions and violence during last Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly polls. Thirty-eight assorted weapons and a cache of explosives were also recovered.

But despite incidents of violence in some of the nation’s flash points, the acting Inspector General of Police, Mr. Muhammed Adamu, still commended Nigerians for their “massive turn-out, and the largely orderly conduct” during the vote.

While warning the media and social media users against unlawful declaration of results, the IGP also ordered a discrete investigation into all security-related infractions during the elections.

These facts were revealed in a press statement issued on Sunday by the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP, who also disclosed that the IGP has directed all zonal Assistant Inspector Generals of Police, AIGs, and Command Commissioners of Police, CPs, to intensify post-election violence.

Below is the full text of ACP Mba’s press release:

The Inspector General of Police, Ag. IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has commended Nigerians for the massive turn-out, and the largely orderly conduct of most Nigerians in the Saturday, 23rd February 2019 Presidential/National Assembly Elections. The IGP also commended personnel of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies for the sacrifices made towards the successful conduct of the elections.

Notwithstanding a few unfortunate incidents, including loss of lives recorded during the election, the IGP hails the exercise as a generally successful one. Meanwhile, a total of One Hundred and Twenty Eight (128) Persons were arrested across the country for various electoral offences ranging from homicide-related crimes, vote trading, ballot box snatching, impersonation, malicious damage, amongst others; while thirty-eight (38) assorted weapons and a cache of explosives were also recovered. Consequently, 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.

The IGP has however 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 therefore warns that 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.

In a similar vein, 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.

Meanwhile, 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.

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