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Kogi: Police, INEC order investigation on REC

The Kogi State police command has ordered a thorough investigation into the attack on the residence of the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Professor Hale…

The Kogi State police command has ordered a thorough investigation into the attack on the residence of the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Professor Hale Gabriel Longpet in Lokoja.

This was contained in a statement made available to newsmen in Lokoja on Friday, signed by the state police command’s police public relations officer, SP William Aya.

In the statement, the commissioner of police in the state, Bethrand Onuoha, condemned  the attack on the REC and  tasked the deputy commissioner of police in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to commence investigation immediately.

“The command received distress today at 0311hours on the attack by unknown armed hoodlums who stormed the residence of the REC and started shooting sporadically.

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The police guards on duty at the residence engaged the hoodlums in a gun duel and denied them access to the premises,” SP Aya said.

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has called for the immediate arrest of the Social Democratic Party ( SDP) candidate in the November 11 gubernatorial election, Muritala Ajaka, over the  attack .

The spokesman of the party’s campaign organisation, Evangelist Kingsley Fanwo, said the action of the SDP candidate was capable of sliding the state into anarchy if not curtailed.

He alleged that the SDP candidate and his supporters masterminded the attack on the residence of the REC in the state in the early hours of Friday.

Fanwo said: “We have no problem allowing legal teams to access documents and materials. It is the norm. But we won’t allow any desperate politician tamper with the true verdict of the Kogi people.”

He alleged that the SDP was attempting to corrupt certain documents in INEC before handing them to their legal team.

“They are desperate to destroy some documents in INEC to cover the heist they committed in Kogi East,” he said.

However, the Director of New Media Communication of the Muri/Sam Campaign Organisation, Isaiah Ijele, described the allegation against the party and its governorship candidate as false.

He said the party or its flag-bearer in the just concluded gubernatorial election had no reason to organise hoodlums to attack INEC office or the REC.

“We went to court to seek for redress over electoral malpractices and which the court has granted our prayers to inspect the materials used in the election. And the process is ongoing,” he said.

The hoodlums in their hundreds reportedly attacked the residence of the REC at the early hours of Friday.

The REC was said to have gotten wind of the impending attack and relocated before the hoodlums struck.

The reinforcement of the army, police and vigilante to the scene was said to have repelled the attack.

Similarly, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called for a thorough investigation and enhanced security protection for its personnel and assets in Kogi State.

The chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, Mr Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi, made the demand on Friday in a statement.

“While no life was lost, property was destroyed in the ensuing gun battle. A team of combined security personnel have been deployed to protect the residence. This incident occurred a day after a mob besieged our state office,” he said.

 

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