Ekiti Bye-election: Police arrest 3 over election violence

By Ralph Christopher

The police in Ekiti on Sunday said three persons have been arrested over the killing of two persons and the disruption of Saturday’s House of Assembly bye-election in the state.

The state Commissioner of Policce, Babatunde Mobayo, clarified that contrary to widespread speculations, the policewoman who was shot, did not die, but sustained gunshot wounds, having been immediately rushed to a hospital.

Two persons were confirmed to have been shot dead on Saturday by suspected party thugs while five others sustained gunshot wounds during the bye-election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) in the constituency .

Mr Mobayo, through the PPRO, Sunday Abutu, told journalists in Ado Ekiti added that the suspects have been detained at the state police command in Ado Ekiti.

“Three suspected party thugs have been arrested. They were picked up where they were hiding and are now being detained in our headquarters.

“Murder is a capital offence and the police won’t watch and allow anyone take laws into his own hands freely.

“Nigeria is a nation being guided by laws. Just like we assured our people on Saturday, everyone who had hands in the killings will be brought to book.

“And I am assuring that all those that were arrested will be taken to court as soon as we conclude investigations and gather enough evidence.”

Governor Kayode Fayemi had earlier condemned the violence, describing it as unacceptable.

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress, Ekiti State, in a statement by its Director of Media and Publicity, Sam Oluwalana, condemned the unwarranted shootings by suspected thugs at unit 7, ward 7 which is the polling unit of Biodun Olujimi, the Senator representing Ekiti-South.

Mr Oluwalana explained that irrespective of the party or personality involved, no life should be lost over any election.

“It is unfortunate that a very peaceful and transparent election could have turned so bloody,” he said.

“The APC is law abiding, peaceful and as such has no reason to be violent. No election is worth the blood of any Ekiti son or daughter.

“We sincerely commiserate with the families of those who lost their loved ones to the incident, while also wishing the policewoman and other gunshot victims still on admission in the hospital quick recovery,” he stated.

Also, the Young Progressives Party (YPP) has commended the INEC for suspending the election due to crisis.

It also appealed to the commission not to allow itself to be used by any party to upturn the poll whenever it is rescheduled.

“We sympathise with the families of those who lost their lives in the unfortunate incident and pray God to grant them eternal rest as well as the fortitude for the families to bear the irreparable loss,” said a statement by the party.

The seat became vacant following the death in February of an All Progressives Congress lawmaker, Juwa Adegbuyi, who represented the constituency in the state House of Assembly.

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