Police IG denies allegations of misconduct by officers in Kogi, Bayelsa polls

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The Inspector-General of Police, Muhammad Adamu has denied allegations of misconduct by officers during the Kogi, Bayelsa governorship elections.

The Saturday election was marred by violence and other irregularities that led to the death of about a dozen people.

Observer groups that monitored the elections reported widespread acts of violence and vote racketeering amongst political parties, adding that security agents, especially police officers, also colluding with thugs to steal ballot boxes or actively participating in the disruption of polling units.

Addressing State House correspondents in Abuja, the Police boss said the force had prior intelligence that the elections in Kogi and Bayelsa were going to be violent.

The police chief recalled some violent events that occurred in the run-up to the elections that gave the police a fair idea of what would happen on election day.

“Because, during the campaigns, we saw how the opponents were fighting themselves, so we prepared so much for that,” Mr Adamu said shortly after a State House meeting of security chiefs with President Muhammadu Buhari. “During one of the stakeholders meeting, I went to Kogi with the chairman of INEC and I also went to Bayelsa.”

“Even at the point of signing the peace accord to conduct the election without any problems, after signing the peace accord in Kogi, within the hall there was problem by the parties,” he said in reference to the November 12 violence at a meeting of political parties, electoral officers and security chiefs. Mr Adamu, alongside Nigerian election chief Mahmood Yakubu, were present when the police fired teargas fired to contain a protest at the meeting.

“So we knew that it was not going to be easy and so we had to prepare heavily for that elections,” he said.

But the police chief did not say whether or not the officers that were deployed to the state were sufficient against the threat they anticipated.

Adamu also clarified that helicopters that were seen hovering over the sky in Lokoja and other parts of Kogi State were intended to scare would-be ballot box thieves and other violent elements.

“Of course if you see helicopter hovering over your head you want to snatch ballot boxes or you have carried, definitely you will know you are being monitored and you will stop,” he said.

The method was criticised by mostly opposition figures, who said the helicopters fired tear gas to disrupt voting in opposition strongholds.




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