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Anambra Election: APC Writes IG, Demands Release Of Detained 120 Observers

Ayo Balogun, Lagos

The All Progressive Congress (APC) has written to the Inspector General of Police demanding the immediate release of the 120 observers arrested by the police in Imo State, Nigeria.

Lagos Lawyer Festus Keyama

Lagos Lawyer and APC Counsel Festus Keyamo

APC, in a letter written on its behalf by its counsel, Festus Keyamo said the the Commissioner of Police in Imo State, Muhammed Katsina ordered the arrest and detention of the 120 observers duly acreditted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to cover tomorrow’s governorship election in Anambra State.

According to APC, on Monday, 11 November, 2013, and Tuesday, 12 November, 2013, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems in collaboration with the Independent National Electoral Commission conducted training for accredited independent election observers who were to observe the Anambra State gubernatorial election scheduled for tomorrow.

“On Thursday, November 14, 2013, the accredited observers who participated in the training above, met at Disyne Hotel located at Owerri, Imo State, for further training of their members ahead of the Anambra State gubernatorial election scheduled for Saturday, 16th November, 2013.

” To the utmost dismay of the innocent and patriotic election observers, at about 2:00pm, the hotel where they were undergoing training was surrounded by heavily armed police officers acting on the instruction of Mohammed Katsina, Commissioner of Police, Imo State, who arrested the entire 120 persons undergoing training.”

Keyamo said the entire accredited observers were currently in detention at the Imo State Police Command for no offence, saying one could not fathom or comprehend the rationale behind the actions or decisions of Mohammed Katsina,  as same are totally untenable in a civilized and democratic society.

“We cannot imagine why accredited election observers, who were specifically trained by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems in collaboration with the Independent National Electoral Commission, to observe/monitor the Anambra State gubernatorial election, should be arrested and detained less than 24 hours to the election.

“We think that this is one of the grand plots to rig the Anambra State gubernatorial election scheduled for tomorrow by crippling genuine election observers and allowing fake observers to observe the process,” Keyamo stated.

“In the light of the above, we call on the Inspector General of Police to order the immediate release of the 120 accredited independent election observers currently in detention at the Imo State Police Command so they can perform their patriotic duties tomorrow,” he added.

 

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