Nigeria Politics

Declaring Parallel Results is an Electoral Offence – IGP

Inspector-General of Police, Mr Suleiman Abba, yesterday, warned politicians against declaration of parallel results during the forth-coming elections. Abba maintained that doing so is an electoral offence.

Rather that cause chaos in the country, the police boss advised politicians who might feel aggrieved on the outcome of the election to approach appropriate tribunal for redress.

The police boss stated this while briefing the 107 local and international observers accredited by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to monitor the general elections.

Mr. Abbah disclosed that information at his disposal has it that some politicians are planning to declare parallel result of elections by themselves.

According to the IGP, “We hope that this does not happen but I want to warn those involved to desist from that, as such is an invitation to anarchy.

“In civilised societies they do not take the law into their hands, but they resort to tribunal” Abba said.

He continued, “Police is ready to provide protection to managers of the elections, that is INEC officials. We are ready to protect materials for the elections. Eligible voters should feel safe enough to go out and cast their votes. We have standby personnel to guarantee their safety”, he assured.

The IGP vowed that police would use all legal means to protect the integrity of the electoral process.

He stated that there would be two to three police personnel at every polling unit and many more at the collation centres as well as at the INEC headquarters.

The police boss also promised that the police would not use lethal weapons during the elections, stressing that the rank and file of the force have been adequately educated to be non-partisan and impartial during the elections.

The IGP, however, disagreed with the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega on his position that voters could stay at the polling booths after casting their votes until the result are announced.

“If you cast your vote and remain, there is the likelihood that you may commit offences. Cast your vote and go in accordance with section 129 of the Electoral Act. If you remain be orderly.

“Telling the electorate to stay and protect their votes means that if the result does not favour you, they may take the laws into their hands. You may be provoked or you may start campaigning which is against the law”, the IG added.

At the event, INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, declared that the commission, in consultation with security agencies, might conduct elections in some liberated areas in the North East.

He stated that INEC has made arrangements to enable the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to vote in the elections.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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