recovers 111 PVCs, cutlasses, charms
By Evelyn Usman
Seventeen persons, among them a legislator, were arrested in Lagos and Ogun states by personnel of the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, over offences ranging from alleged ballot snatching, disruption of election process and impersonation during the governorship/state Houses of Assembly elections.
One of the thugs reportedly opened fire on the troops, injuring an officer in Ijebu-Ode area of Ogun State, in his attempt to evade arrest, after his accomplice attempted to snatch ballot boxes at a polling unit.
Recovered from the suspects were 111 permanent voter’s cards, PVCs, cutlasses, charms and other dangerous objects.
Giving an update of the election in its area of responsibility, the Division disclosed that distress calls on disruptions of election processes were received from densely-populated Ajegunle, Makinde and Satellite areas of Lagos, and Ogere, Ogun State.
In the process, troops stationed at the Forward Operational Base 1, Olayinka Street, Ajegunle, reportedly foiled attempt by hoodlums to snatch election materials from some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The rampaging thugs at Ajegunle, Vanguard gathered, barricaded the road, denying INEC officials access, intimidated voters and vandalised shops.
They took to their heels, abandoning 10 cutlasses, one axe, one iron rod and three objects suspected to be pestles, on sighting the troops.
In Makinde area of the state, one person was arrested with 111 PVCs, while seven others, who were apprehended while attempting to snatch ballot boxes, had assorted charms tied round different parts of their bodies.
A man alleged to have masqueraded as an INEC staff was also arrested opposite Redeemed Camp in Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State. The suspect, whose identity was not disclosed, was alleged to have been with a tag which was discovered to have been forged.
Also, two men who posed as soldiers were arrested in Ikotun and Alabule communities in Lagos and Ogun states, respectively.
Confirming the arrests, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Lieutenant Colonel Olaolu Daudu, explained that “in line with Chief of Army Staff’s directive to ensure professional conduct of troops, especially during the electioneering period, the General Officer Commanding of the Division, Maj. Gen Musa Yusuf, toured the streets of Lagos metropolis, beginning with Obalende axis to Arakan Barracks along Apapa and proceeded to Okota, Ago Palace way via Ajeromi Ifelodun general area, where he had cause to turn back two vehicles driving against traffic.
Other axis covered were Oshodi Interchange, inward and outskirts Lagos Island, Ahmadu Bello Way, Ikoyi, Lekki Peninsula (Phase I) and environs.”
He added that some of the suspects were handed over to the Police.