The Police Service Commission has concluded arrangements to deploy 45 officials to monitor the governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States on November 16, 2019.
Twenty officials would be dispatched to monitor the conduct of policemen on electoral duties in Bayelsa State, while 25 would be in Kogi State to benchmark the conduct of the officers against the approved rules of engagement for police officers on electoral duties and other relevant laws guiding such exercise.
Cases of police misconduct arising from the monitoring exercise would be investigated by the commission and any police officer found guilty will be punished accordingly, the PSC spokesman, Ikechukwu Ani, said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
It admonished the policemen to operate within the law and to be professional in their conduct while remaining neutral and apolitical.
The statement said, “The monitors will be in eight Local Government Areas of Bayelsa State and the 21 Local Government Areas of Kogi State. The team will be expected to arrive the two states on Wednesday, November 13 to monitor the deployment of men and materials, as well as the conduct of the officers before, during and after the elections.”
The Bayelsa State team would be led by Mr Austin Braimoh, the Commissioner representing the South-South zone and the media, while the Kogi State team would be led by Mr Rommy Mom, the Commissioner representing the North Central and the human rights organizations in the PSC.
The commission has provided dedicated telephone lines to enable Nigerians to report cases of police misconduct or exemplary conduct during the elections.
The Chairman of the commission, Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector-General of Police, said the monitoring exercise was informed by the constitutional mandate of the commission “to exercise disciplinary control over the police.”
He said, “The police must be held accountable for their actions and inactions including during elections.
“The commission will continue to send monitors to monitor police conducts during elections as part of its contribution to the sustenance of the nation’s growing democracy as the police, the lead agency in both internal and election security are expected to ensure that citizens are provided with the enabling environment to discharge their civic responsibility and that the electoral process is adequately protected.”