Nigeria election: Police arraign 3 over illegal possession of fire arms, ballot papers, PVCs in Benue

The Police on Wednesday arraigned three persons before a Makurdi Upper Area Court II for alleged criminal conspiracy and illegal possession of fire arms, ballot papers and Permanent Voter Cards (PVC’s).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Police First Information Report (FIR) named the accused as Anthony Oketa 26, Samson Adanu 26 and Raphael Oketa 32 all of Mission Ward, North Bank, Makurdi Local Government.

The Police Prosecutor, Ms Veronica Shaagee told the court that the case was transferred from Ado Division Police Station to the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (CIID) Makurdi through a letter No.AR:3100/BNS/AD/VOL.T/16 dated March 23.

Shaagee said that a team of Policemen led by Inspr. Bala Bulus attached to Mobile 20 Squadron Ikeja, Lagos, while on election duty at the Ipole polling unit in Ado Local Government area arrested the accused persons.

“Anthony Oketa, Samson Adanu and Raphael Oketa all of Mission Ward, North Bank Makurdi invaded Ipole Polling Unit in a red Toyota Corolla vehicle with registration number GWA 236 NV armed with sophisticated weapons and disrupted the voting process.

“In the process, they were arrested by the policemen, their vehicle was searched and three locally made pistols with 18 rounds of live ammunitions, two chemical spray, five knockouts, four face masks, two PVC’s, three stamps, 14 ballot papers, N30, 800 meant for vote buying, one note book, and APC logo were recovered”. He said.

The prosecutor told the court that although during the three suspects had voluntarily confessed to the crime, the police would still require more time to complete investigation into the matter.

She said the offense contravened Section 6 (b) and 3 (1) of the Robbery and Firearm (Special Provision) Act 2004, section 398 of the penal code law 2004 and Section 23 (1)(a) of electoral act 2010.

The Magistrate, Ms Rose Iyorshe, did not take the plea of the accused for want of jurisdiction, but ordered that they be remanded in Makurdi Medium Prison.

She adjourned the case to April 30, for further mention.