OrderPaperToday-The House of Representatives has mandated its Committes on Police Affairs, Army, Justice, Electoral Matters and Human Rights to investigate the widespread violence reported at the November 16 elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States.
This is just as speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, warned the joint committees not to indict any political party, else the report from the investigation will not be considered.
The resolution to probe the violence followed the adoption of a motion jointly sponsored by deputy minority leader of the House, Toby Okechukwu (PDP, Rivers) and Solomon Bob (Rivers, PDP) on Tuesday.
The motion noted that, “The November 16, 2019 elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States witnessed widespread violence which recorded about a dozen deaths.”
In his debate, Okechukwu informed the House that there are allegations that the police had prior intelligence “that the elections would be violent and that fake officers were responsible for the said violence.”
He also made reference to reports on the elections by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) that security officials were complicit in the violence and disruption that characterised the Kogi and Bayelsa elections.
“Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA) and Situation Room called for cancellation of the elections following the role of security agents who, though saddled with the constitutional responsibilities of maintaining the rule of law and the defence of citizens’ rights, were alleged to be colluding with thugs to steal ballot boxes or actively participating in disrupting polling units.”
He expressed disappointment over the murder of Mrs. Salome Abuh despite the heavy deployment of security personnel.
“66,241 police personnel were deployed for the elections comprising 35,200 to Kogi and 31,041 to Bayelsa States respectively, as confirmed by the deputy inspector general of Police, AbdulMajid Ali, in charge of operations on November 14, 2019.
“Disturbed that in spite of such massive deployment of security personnel coupled with the intelligence reports, the elections witnessed such degree of violence resulting in the death of one Mrs. Salome Abuh,” he said.