© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Two police officers killed, 323 offenders arrested during presidential/NASS elections
THE Inspector-General of the Nigeria Police Force, Mohammed Adamu, says two policemen lost their lives while a total of 323 persons were arrested across the country for offences committed during the just-concluded presidential and national assembly elections which held on Saturday, February 23.
Adamu made this known during a meeting with police officers from the rank of commissioners of police and above, at the Force Headquarters in Abuja on Monday.
The meeting was aimed at evaluating the performances of the police during the last elections, as well as to perfect plans for the governorship and state assembly elections scheduled for March 9.
Asides the two officers that paid the supreme price while on election duty, Adamu also pointed out that many other police personnel were assaulted and injured while carrying out their lawful responsibilities during the elections.
According to the IGP, a Special Election Investigation Team (SEIT) has been set up and directed to work with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in investigating all the cases of electoral violence across the states of the federation and ensure that the perpetrators were brought to book.
On the forthcoming governorship and state assembly elections, Adamu reiterated that police officers at the polling units would not bear arms as doing otherwise would be against the Electoral Act and international law.
He also promised that personnel of the force would remain apolitical, civil, professional and firm in the discharge of their duties. Adamu reassured Nigerians and the international community of the commitment of the police to continue to work with INEC in delivering credible elections in Nigeria.
Police officers on election duty will also be paid their full allowances and entitlements ahead of their deployment to their duty posts.
The IGP further urged politicians to desist from actions that could disrupt the electoral process or lead to a breakdown of law and order. He warned that doing otherwise “shall attract the full and appropriate response from the police and other security agencies.”
The ICIR, in a report titled ‘Notable heroes of Nigeria’s 2019 elections’, had celebrated a policeman who was caught on camera standing up to hoodlums who attacked a polling unit in Lagos State.
The courageous policeman was videoed trying to protect the ballot boxes by snatching them from the hoodlums and returning them, but he was unarmed and outnumbered by the thugs who eventually destroyed the ballot boxes with ballot papers in them, and set them on fire.