By Olugbenga Salami
Irked by the alleged involvement of Police in the recently conducted bye-election in Kwara State, the Senate yesterday directed its Committee on Police Affairs chaired by Senator Tijjani Kaura, APC-Zamfara North to thoroughly investigate the allegations.
The Senate resolution followed a motion of personal explanation sponsored via Order 43 by Senators Rafiu Ibrahim, PDP-Kwara South during plenary.
Senator Ibrahim, while presenting the motion, alleged that the last Saturday bye election conducted in Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero/Ekiti Federal Constituency was militarised and skewed in favour of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Raheem Olawuyi by both the Police and men of the Department of State Services, DSS.
According to him, two days to the election precisely on Thursday, November 15, a Police Helicopter landed in Omu-Aran, headquarters of Irepodun local government area where hefty bags suspected to contain monies and electoral materials were seen being offloaded into the personal vehicle of the APC candidate, who was later declared as winner of the election.
The lawmaker, who tendered photographs of the alleged Police connivance in the election rigging, further alleged that even on the election day, many of the PDP leaders and agents were arrested in their localities before the election as a way of intimidating others from participating in the election.
Senator Ibrahim explained that the intimidation made just 41,000 out of the 168,000 registered voters in the federal constituency to exercise their franchise.
“What took place in that part of Kwara State last Saturday was purely Police siege, harassment, intimidation and not election which must be investigated by this senate to prevent reoccurrence of such in any part of the country in the 2019 general elections.
“Imagine an election which took place in just four local government areas attracting four directors from the DSS headquarters in Abuja, hundreds of senior police officers including an Aide de Camp, ADC to a serving governor and of course, thousands of men of the Police Force and DSS.
“This motion is not to contest the predetermined result but to put what happened in the public domain in preventing future occurrence”, he stressed.
In his remarks, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki directed the Committee on Police Affairs to urgently looked into the allegation and report back in two weeks.