Police confirm four deaths, 24 arrests in Rivers
Protesters run after police fired tear gas during a protest against Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza and his bid for a third term in Bujumbura, Burundi May 19, 2015. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in Calabar, Baba Bolanta, supervising elections in Rivers State, has confirmed the death of four persons in the March 19, 2016 rerun elections in the volatile state. Elections have been cancelled in eight of the 23 local council areas in the state due to violence and irregularities.
The results were also cancelled as a result of massive violence and irregularities in April 2015. It is not clear how many times elections would be cancelled in the state now full of guns and hoodlums.
Briefing newsmen in Port Harcourt on Sunday, the AIG said 24 persons suspected of electoral fraud had been arrested.
Bolanta, who updated the media on the performance of the security agencies during the re-run elections in Rivers State, said two women were part of those arrested.
He said: “Without mincing words, I want to say our deployments has drastically assisted in leveraging the palpable fear associated with the election, though some pockets of security breaches were recorded in few places.
“It is pertinent I let you know that we have 24 suspects comprising 22 males and 2 females in police custody who were arrested from different parts of the state. They are presently undergoing interrogation on allegations of criminal or electoral offences or both.”
The AIG said he was startled after seeing outrageous figure of deaths associated with elections as dished out by the media. “To the records straight, four deaths were recorded with two in Buguma while Nonwa Tai and Omuanwa each recorded one.”
The AIG appealed for the continued and sustained support and cooperation of members of the public to enable the police discharge their constitutional mandate of protection of life and property.
Some of those earlier arrested included top officials of the state government and aides to top politicians.
The Government House showed photos of Ekwi Adebisa, the Ward 10 Collation Officer allegedly abducted Saturday night, saying the woman was found in a police station.
The government statement preferred to see the arrest as abduction and fingered the minister of transportation, as being behind the arrest. The statement said: “Her abduction led to the suspension of collation of results in the constituency.”
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