Nigeria

Ekiti 2022: Police order arrest of killers of RTEAN member

Edo State Commissioner of Police, Johnson Babatunde Kokumo

The police said on Thursday that those who were involved in the killing of Tope Ajayi, a member of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) on June 11 in Itaji Ekiti, will be arrested and made to face the law.

The Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Johnson Kokumo, said it was a crime against the state and would not be treated lightly.

Mr Ajayi was shot when supporters of the All Progressives Congress and the Social Democratic Party clashed in the town.

He later died of the gunshot wounds he sustained.

The APC had earlier called for the arrest of some SDP party officials which it accused of masterminding the shooting.

But the SDP had denied the allegations, saying the APC came against its supporters with guns and inflicted serious injuries on its members.

The incident had raised the temperature of the election and there are apprehensions that reprisal attacks may further worsen the security situation in the state.

Mr Kokumo, however, denied that the police were not doing anything about the incident.

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“It is common knowledge and that is established in law that the killing of a human being is murder and it is a criminal offence notwithstanding the circumstance,” he said.

“The suspect will be arrested, investigated and prosecuted. If someone has lost his life and it is reported to the police, you can rest assured that the police will take action.

“It is not even a crime against the person that was killed, it is a crime against the state. It is not even an offence whereby members of the family of the deceased will say that the police should be hands-off, that they are not interested in the prosecution of the suspect.

“It is the responsibility of the police to prosecute the offender, who will be processed through the courts and it is then the responsibility of the court to either set him free and pronounce him guilty.”

The police DIG also promised to ensure the arrest of those involved in voter inducement during the election.

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Mr Kokumo said voter inducement was an offence contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and those caught in the act would be prosecuted.

He denied that the police were aiding the act, when confronted with the attitude of police officers at polling units, saying the police were neither beneficiaries nor the inducers of voters.

Mr Kokumo urged the public to call the Electoral Offence Desk to lodge complaints of such acts, assuring that efforts would be made to ensure justice.

He earlier said over 17,000 police officers would be deployed to man the polling units across the local government areas, assuring that the police would be professional in the discharge of their duties.

He said the number excludes the deployment of other security agencies involved in the election monitoring.

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