Gunmen attack Kogi governorship election tribunal’s scribe, cart away petitions

THE Kogi State Police Command has confirmed that gunmen attacked the secretary of the state’s governorship election petition tribunal.

The Police said the gunmen carted away sensitive documents filed before the tribunal.

According to the Police, the tribunal’s secretary, David Mike, was attacked on Monday, December 4, in Lokoja, the state capital.

The state Police public relations officer, William Aya, said in a press statement on Wednesday that the attackers carted away all the petitions filed by five political parties at gunpoint.

The papers that were taken from Mike, according to the Police, included two record books and a bag that contained his personal belongings, along with petitions submitted by four political parties, namely the Action Alliance (AA), Action People’s Party (APP), Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), and Social Democratic Party (SDP).

According to the Police, the victims were on their way to the tribunal site at the state High court complex in Lokoja when the tragedy occurred in front of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) building.

The Police added that Mike was in the company of Labode Apreala, confidential secretary, and Hassimu Adamu, assistant secretary when the incident occurred.

Mike and the two others reported the case. They said, “Just before the CBN at about 1320hrs, one SUV vehicle that had overtaken him (and) blocked his car with two other SUVs following behind.

“All of them surrounded and blocked him as he attempted to reverse. He saw about seven hooded men, all heavily armed and dressed in black attire, who shot severally into the air and dragged him and his two other colleagues out of their car, ransacked the car and made away with all the petition documents” the statement reads.

The Police command added that the state commissioner of Police, Onuoha Benthrand, had ordered a thorough and diligent investigation into the incident.

Meanwhile, the Police have advised the general public to avoid statements that might prejudice the ongoing investigation into the matter, even as the command appealed to anyone with useful information on the incident to provide the same to the command.

The ICIR reported that gunmen attacked the residence of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Kogi state Hale Longpet on Friday, December 1.

According to a statement by INEC on its official X handle, the incident happened in the early hours of the day.

The INEC said the armed men who arrived around 3. 30 am engaged the security personnel in a gun duel for over 30 minutes until reinforcement arrived. 

The INEC conducted an off-cycle election in the state on Saturday, November 11.

Opposition parties, civil society organisations, and Nigerians who are displeased with the conduct of the poll have continued to condemn the exercise and malpractices that allegedly characterised it. 

    The state is one of the eight states in Nigeria with off-season governorship polls. Others are Anambra, Imo, Bayelsa, Ekiti, Ondo, Edo and Osun

    The INEC announced Usman Ododo as the election winner on Sunday, November 12. 

    The poll was held in 3,508 polling units spread across the 21 local government areas of the state. 

    In this report, the ICIR highlighted the major talking points from the election.

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