20 killed as violence rocks polls

Posted by News Express | 24 February 2019 | 11,321 times

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•Some suspected political thugs arrested by the police in Lagos yesterday.

No fewer than 17 persons were killed across the country yesterday as violence erupted during the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

The army confirmed six killed in Rivers State alone.

Three of the victims died at different polling units at Okota, a suburb of Lagos, and three in Sapele, Delta State, two each in Bayelsa and Kogi States while one each was killed in Oyo and Zamfara States.

The remaining two died on Friday during a clash between supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi State.

Sequel to the violence, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has decided to hold   fresh elections in some parts of Lagos, Rivers and Anambra States.

INEC Commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, announced the development said the move was on account of disruption.

The victims in Rivers State included two brothers and a soldier.

Sources identified one of the victims in Lagos simply as Peter. He was said to be a barber and was allegedly   shot and stabbed to death at Powerline, Canal Estate in Okota  by thugs who stormed the polling station in an attempt to disrupt the electoral process.

Another was identified as Demola, a leader of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) in the area who was lynched by a mob for allegedly denying them a right to vote.

The identity of the third man could not be immediately established, but he was stabbed to death at Last Bus Stop, Ago Okota.

Addressing reporters after a meeting with his men, Lagos Police Commissioner, Zubairu Muazu said a total of 23 persons were arrested in the state for attempts to disrupt the elections which he described as generally peaceful in the state.

He said: “We went round several polling units and it was generally peaceful. We had a few cases of disruption of election process. The most important was the one at Okota where few polling units were attacked.

“Some hoodlums went there when election was ongoing and disrupted the process. We heard the rumour that people were killed but we went there and we did not see any corpse. The DPO did not see anyone that was killed.

“In Okota, nine suspects were arrested. They came on motorcycles and 10 of these were recovered. Okota is a very large area and we cannot deploy armed policemen to polling units. The armed policemen were far off. That was why the hoodlums were able to strike and fled before armed policemen could get there.

“It is indeed a breach of the restriction order. I wonder where they came from but the case is under investigation and we will find out where they came from.

Three killed, two injured in Sapele shooting

Unknown gunmen were blamed for the killings in Sapele.

Sources said the hoodlums swooped on voters as they queued to exercise their franchise at Amukpe area of Sapele and unexpectedly opened fire.

Two persons died on the spot while another died in the hospital.

Two other persons hit by bullets are now receiving treatment in the hospital.

The motive of the gunmen could not be immediately established.

Police Commissioner Adeleke Adeyinka said he was yet to be briefed on the incident

Unknown gunmen also shot to death, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Chief Mowan Owo-Ete, and his brother.

They were killed in the politician’s residence at Asarama, Andoni Local Government Area at about 9am.

Owo-Ete, a former Vice-Chairman of PDP and ex-Special Adviser to Governor Nyesom Wike on Political Matters, defected to the APC last October.

The gunmen were said to have scaled the fence of the house and rained bullets on them at close range.

It was learnt that Owo-Ete had narrowly escaped assassination shortly before the February 16 elections were postponed.

It was also gathered that a soldier was killed in Abonema

Rivers Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), confirmed through the telephone, the death of the top politician and his elder brother, stressing that personnel of the command were on the trail of the killers, while expressing optimism that they would soon be arrested and prosecuted, to serve as a deterrent to other criminals.

Armed men kill Govt House photographer, PDP chairman in Bayelsa

A Yenagoa Government House photographer, Mr. Reginald Dei, and a ward chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Seidougha Taribi were the victims in Bayelsa State.

They were allegedly killed by armed men in military uniform at Oweikorogha, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the State.

Sources said they were killed in their houses at the close of voting yesterday

The State Chairman of PDP, Chief Moses Cleopas blamed the APC for the killings.

Two killed in Kogi East

Thugs killed two persons in Anyigba, Dekina local government of  Kogi State while attempting to disrupt voting in the area.

The victims lost their lives at the Ajetachi polling unit when thugs stormed the area.

They were said to have been shooting indiscriminately, killing the victims one of whom was a nineteen year old boy, simply identified as Usman.

A woman who was on the queue to cast her ballot was seriously injured.

At Agbeji, thugs who invaded two polling unit tried to force the Presiding Officers (PO) to sign completed result sheets.

The POs however refused, and took to their heels, resulting in the disruption of the exercise.

Excerpted from Nation report

Source: News Express

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