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Bayelsa Polls: Lawyers Seek Probe of Military Involvement in Electoral Malpractice

BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – civil rights organisation, Lawyers in Defence of Democracy, has asked the Federal Government to investigate the alleged role of security agencies, particularly the military “in the whole episode of electoral corruption in Southern Ijaw” during the Bayelsa State governorship election.

Such investigation, it advised, must also look at the role of the police high command “leading to such mind boggling violence as widely reported in the media as well as that of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to unravel any complicity.”

The National Secretary of LDD, Ikechukwu Ikeji, who tabled the demands during a press conference on Wednesday in Yenagoa, praised the courage of Bayelsans by fearlessly standing firm to defend their rights to vote even in the face of intimidation by security agencies.

He said, “The allegation of collusion by top officials of the army, police and those of the INEC allegedly corralled to do the bidding of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Timipre Sylva is unconscionable because it sends a very wrong signal of possible annihilation of democracy and rule of law. Yes, the rule of jungle is anathema in a democratic system of government. It is clearly a dangerous step which calls for a thorough investigation by the Federal Government before it becomes a routine in future elections and in particular when the Southern Ijaw election is rescheduled.

“This is why we call on the Federal Government to properly investigate the alleged role of the military in the whole episode of electoral corruption in Southern Ijaw as claimed by Governor Dickson which would be in line with similar on-going investigation of the role of the same institution in the 2015 general elections in Ekiti and Osun States. The investigation must commence without further delay.

“Such investigation must also look at the role of the police high command leading to such mind boggling violence as widely reported in the media as well as that of INEC to unravel any complicity.

“We have looked carefully at the whole scenario and think rationally that the governor’s accusation is not without some substance. It cannot and must not be dismissed as frivolous as the APC, an interest party, in Bayelsa has said.”

 

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