Nigeria: Police React to Alleged Arrest of INEC Officials in Lagos
“Preliminary findings show that a resident of the area who volunteered to transport the officials from their office to the centre was responsible for the mix-up.”
The police in Lagos State on Saturday said no INEC official was arrested on Friday in connection with the ongoing Continuous Voter’s Registration (CVR) exercise in the state.
The command’s spokesperson, Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday, while reacting to the incident.
NAN reports that some online media on Friday reported that thugs invaded an INEC CVR centre at St. Bridget Catholic Church, ljesha, in Surulere, and carted away INEC enrollment machines.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos, Olusegun Agbaje, had also described reports of the arrest of the commission’s officials as fake news.
Mr Hundeyin, however, said that police got information about the presence of some INEC officials in a church, stressing that the DPO, police division in Ijeshatedo, swung into action and brought the INEC officials and materials to the station.
He said the DPO decided to bring the officials and others around to the station, because the church was not conducive to such investigation, to avoid break down of law and order.
The spokesperson noted that after the DPO’s findings, there was a mix-up of address location and he requested the INEC officials to move to the correct address.
Mr Hundeyin pointed out that the police carried INEC materials and officials out of the church, not hoodlums as being speculated on social media.
“The INEC officials were assigned to Imam Thani Street, by House No. 9A for the exercise. They were, however, found within the church premises. Residents raised concerns and informed the police.
“Preliminary findings show that a resident of the area who volunteered to transport the officials from their office to the centre was responsible for the mix-up, deliberate or not, further investigation will reveal.
“Meanwhile, the officials were immediately released to proceed to the correct centre to continue their assignment,” he said.