The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, yesterday, said no fewer than 203 suspects were arrested in connection with electoral violence during the Presidential/ National Assembly poll that held across the 36 states of the Federation, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Saturday, February 25.
He added that security operatives on election duty recovered a total of 18 firearms of various description(s) from suspected political thugs during the election
The Police chief made the disclosure at a meeting with strategic field officers, who coordinated election security operations across the country during the just concluded exercise.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has since announced the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as the winner of the keenly-contested poll, even as Alh Atiku Abubakar, and Mr Peter Obi – candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party and Labour Party respectively – have indicated their intentions to challenge the outcome at the tribunal.
In his remarks, the IGP noted that the interface was to, among others, assess the post-election security situation in the country, with a view to “identifying trends and patterns within the postelection security space, and draw inferences on possible threats that may require mitigation ahead of the next rounds of the national electoral process on 11th March, 2023.” On the electoral offences recorded during the poll, Baba said: “In your quest to maintain order within the electoral space, you succeeded on a commendable scale in stabilising such threatened space, safely rescued several INEC officials and citizens that were under threats, secured sensitive materials, made series of recoveries, including arms and ammunition of various descriptions and effected the arrest of several electoral adversaries nationwide.
“In this regard, of the about 185 major incidents that the Police responded to across the country, 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. On expectations during Saturday’s Governorship/ House of Assembly Election, he said: “I charge you all to recommit yourselves to national duty and sustain the high operational level that is attracting broad commendation to the Force.