203 hoodlums arrested during presidential poll – Police
Ahead of the March 11 governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has revealed that the Nigeria Police Force recorded and responded to 185 major incidents, arrested 203 electoral offenders, and recovered 18 firearms from political thugs nationwide, during the conduct of the presidential and National Assembly elections held on February 25.
He also noted that the cases are currently at various stages of investigation at the Nigeria Police Electoral Offences Desks, adding that they will be concluded and processed to the legal department of the Independent National Electoral Commission for prosecution in due course.
The police chief made the revelation on Monday during a meeting with strategic police managers, comprising Deputy Inspectors-General of Police and members of the Force Management Team, Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, Commissioners of Police, and heads of tactical investigative and operational units of the Force, at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
Baba said, “In this regard, of the about 185 major incidents that the police responded to across the country during the elections, a total of 203 offenders linked to various electoral offences and sundry crimes have so far been arrested, while not less than 18 firearms of various descriptions were recovered from political thugs during the exercise.
“All the cases are at various stages of investigations at the Nigeria Police Electoral Offences Desks and I assure you that in due course they will be concluded and processed to the legal department of the Independent National Electoral Commission for prosecution.”
According to the police chief, the essence of the meeting was to debrief officers posted for election security management duties and appraise the performance of officers during the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections, identify gaps, and perfect the action plan for the forthcoming March 11 elections.
He added, “This is towards drawing on their practical experiences for informed feedbacks that will aid us in evaluating our operational performance and identifying logistics gaps and other challenges that might have been experienced during the exercise.
“Second is to assess the security situation at all levels in the immediate aftermath of the February 25, 2023 sets of elections. This is with a view to identifying trends and patterns within the post-election security space, and draw inferences on possible threats that may require mitigation ahead of the next rounds of the national electoral process on March 11, 2023.”
Baba urged all CPs to emulate the initiative of the Lagos State CP, Idowu Owohunwa, who met with stakeholders to mitigate violence.
Furthermore, he urged parents and guardians to prevail on their children to resist the urge of being recruited as “cannon folders or destabilising agents to disrupt the nation’s electoral process.”
“The Nigeria Police, under my watch, will be unsparing of such elements and their sponsors,” the IG warned.