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Suspects’ arrest in Kwara, Kano nothing to do with party affiliation – I-G

Abuja – The Inspector General of Police (I-G), Mohammed Adamu, on Friday in Abuja said the suspects arrested in connection with the killings in Kwara and Kano states had nothing to do with their political parties’ affiliations.

A man tries to run away from a rickety road side shop as cars are set on fire following deadly clashes between supporters of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at Kofa in Bebeji district of Kano, economic nerve centre of northern Nigeria, on February 22, 2019. – Two people were killed, while 40 vehicles, 12 motorcycles and houses were burn following bloody clashes between supporters of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kofa town, Bebeji district of Kano, northeast Nigeria ahead of tomorrow’s rescheduled presidential election. (Photo AFP)

Adamu explained this while answering questions at a media briefing where he featured alongside the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on the commission’s preparations for Saturday’s national elections.

He said that the suspects, who happened to be candidates participating in Saturday’s elections, were arrested for having connection with the crisis in the two states, and that they needed to defend themselves.

“We heard of what happened in Kwara, the Commissioner of Police reported that two people were killed and the group of people that were suspected to have perpetrated the killing were arrested.

“And one of them is a candidate of a political party. So, because he is a candidate in the election, should we allow him go without facing the law?

“So, he has been arrested with others;he needs to defend himself as regards to the allegation of the murder.

“We cannot just because he belongs to a political party or is a candidate for election that he was arrested, no.

“The same thing in Kano, we all know that there was a problem in Kano, two people were killed in Kano, some vehicles were burnt down…police had to move to make arrest of people that were committing this crime on the scene.

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“In the course if making this arrest, one of the suspect happens to be a candidate in the election that is supposed to take place.

“Do we leave him because he is a candidate? I think he should defend himself, that is why he was arrested.’’

The Commissioner of Police in Kwara, Kayode Egbetokun, had earlier confirmed the arrest of the PDP Kwara South Senatorial candidate, Sen. Rufai Ibrahim, over his link with Tuesday’s attack on the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate, Lola Ashiru, in Ojoku.

The Police Command in Kano State also confirmed the arrest of a member representing Kiru/Bebeji Federal constituency, Abdulmumini Jibrin-Kofa, over Thursday’s clash between supporters of PDP and those of APC.

The Public Relations Officer of the Command, DSP Abdullahi Haruna said that Jibrin-Kofar was arrested alongside some political leaders from the area in connection with the clash between supporters of the PDP and the APC at Kofa village in Bebeji Local Government Area.

He said Jibrin-Kofa was arrested alongside the political leader for questioning over the incident.

No fewer than two persons lost their lives following the clash, while 20 vehicles were burnt and 18 others vandalised.

Meanwhile the PDP on Friday demanded the immediate and unconditional release of its Kwara South Senatorial candidate, Sen. Rufai Ibrahim, and other members of the party allegedly “framed-up, arrested and detained” by the Police in Kwara.

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The party in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, said that the continued detention of Ibrahim on the eve of a crucial election, in which he is a lead contender, was provocative.

Ologbondiyan cautioned the police to stop harassing, arresting and detaining PDP members on “flimsy charges” that could directly pitch security agents against the people. (NAN)

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