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#Electionday: Police arrest 4 in Lagos over alleged burning of ballot boxes

Lagos – The police in Lagos have arrested four persons in connection with the disruption of voting and destruction of voting materials in Okota, Okota in Oshodi/Isolo council area of Lagos State.

Area Boys fight over the alleged distribution of money for votes at a polling unit in Alagomeji-Yaba in Lagos on February 23, 2019. – Nigerians voted for a new president after a week-long delay that has raised political tempers, sparked conspiracy claims and stoked fears of violence. Some 120,000 polling stations opened from 0700 GMT, although there were delays in the delivery of some materials and deployment of staff. (Photo by STEFAN HEUNIS / AFP)

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Zubairu Muazu, made the disclosure during a visit to the affected polling units.

Muazu was in company with an Assistant Inspector-General of Police monitoring elections in Lagos State, Mr David Folawiyo.

Muazu said that the suspects would soon be charged with disrupting elections and damage to election materials.

The hoodlums had set ablaze some ballot boxes at Polling Unit 018 located at the junction of Ohafia/Ago Palace Way, Okota.

The incident occurred midway into voting at the booth, causing voters and INEC ad-hoc staff to run for safety.

The hoodlums also disrupted voting at Polling Unit 023 located on Baba-Ewe Street/Ago Place Way.

NAN gathered that a group of boys in tricycles and motorcycles stormed Polling Unit 18 and few other polling units and attempted to force voters to vote for a particular party.

NAN leant that the group fled when a team of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Lagos State Police Command arrived at the scene.

SARS had shot into the air.

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However, the hoodlums returned when the police left. They attempted unsuccessfully to snatch the boxes, and then burnt some.

They also disrupted voting at Polling Units 035 and 036 located at Adeneken Street/Alhaji Olusesi Street Junction and Adeneken Street/ Ago Palace Way, respectively.

Although the ad-hoc staff and some voters returned later at the polling booths, voting did not continue until the time of this report – 3.50p.m.

Policemen came hours later to carry election materials out of Polling Units 018 and 023.

When the commissioner of police visited a polling booth at Power Line on Carnal Estate, Okota, also affected by disruption, voters told him they desired to vote.

Muazu asked INEC ad-hoc staff there if voting cour still hold but they said that they were afraid and would want police to excort them out of the place immediately. (NAN)

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