781 arrested for electoral offences, 66 firearms recovered
The Nigeria Police Force, on Monday, said it recorded a total of 489 major electoral infractions during the February 25 presidential and March 18 governorship polls.
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba,made the disclosure on Monday during a meeting with senior police officers at the Goodluck Jonathan Peacekeeping Centre, Force Headquarters, Abuja.
At the meeting were Deputy Inspectors-General of Police, Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, Commissioners of Police, and other members of the Force Management Team.
Speaking during the session, Baba said, “Across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, a total of 489 major electoral infractions leading to the arrest of a total of 781 offenders were recorded during the presidential, National Assembly and the governorship and states Houses of Assembly elections, while not less than 66 firearm of various description were recovered from electoral adversaries.
“A summary indicates that a total of 185 major electoral offences were reported during the presidential and National Assembly elections with 203 arrest made and 18 firearms recovered.
“Similarly, a total of 304 electoral offences were recorded during the governorship and states Houses of Assembly elections with a total number of 578 arrests recorded and 48 firearms recovered.”
While noting that the culprits will be prosecuted, Baba said, “I can assure you that we will effectively collaborate with the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission in ensuring that all these electoral offenders are expeditiously and transparently prosecuted not only in the interest of criminal justice delivery but in furtherance of our vision to sanitise our democratic space.”
A total of 161 suspects, including a federal lawmaker, were arrested by the police in Kano State during the March 18 elections.
The police also recorded several arrests in Rivers, Ogun, Enugu, Abia, Edo, and Lagos states, among others.
Our correspondent also gathered that some of the cases are being handled by several states police commands, while others have been handed over to the Legal Department of the Independent National Electoral Commission for prosecution.
Also speaking at the conference on Monday, the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said the IG’s meeting with the senior police officers was also aimed at evaluating police performance during the 2023 general elections, highlight lessons and strengths and dissect complex dynamics for subsequent optimal performance.