Polls: Armed forces, Police set up 9 member committee to investigate personnel

By Matthew Abi

#TrackNigeria: The Nigerian Armed Forces and the Nigeria Police on Thursday set up a nine-member committee to investigate allegations of misconduct of personnel during the 2019 general elections.

The Force Police Public Relations Officer (FPPRO), ACP Frank Mba said one of the terms of reference of the Committee is to investigate “the reported activities, actions and in-actions of personnel that contravened extant Rules of Engagement and of conduct in internal security operations during the elections.

“There is no doubt that the Nigeria Police is the lead security agency tasked with the provision of security at the polls, while the military is to support the Police and other security agencies by providing security at the outer cordons, including check points and other flash points when called upon as provided in Section 217 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.

“In the elections, military services were undoubtedly requested by the INEC. It is also pertinent to state that, even before the actual elections, the AFN had been engaged with airlifting and ferrying of election materials and other essential logistics to requisite locations in the country as directed by INEC.

“Some of these areas could not have been easily accessible without the assistance of the military, while the police were massively deployed in providing security around the polling units, collation centres and all the inner cordons around the voting areas. 

“We are however, equally aware of some of the unfortunate security challenges witnessed during the elections which have generated public outcry and condemnation. 

“The alleged involvement of some security agents in some of these unfortunate incidents is of serious concern to the military and police high commands.  

“While we appreciate the fact that some of these issues may be as a result of the overzealousness of some personnel, it is instructive to note that some of these incidents were instances of impersonation by political thugs clad in military and police uniforms,” Mba said.

Mba appealed to the general public to volunteer useful information to aid security agencies in tackling all challenges.

“We assure the general public that investigation is ongoing on security personnel who might have conducted themselves inappropriately during the last elections and appropriate sanctions will be meted out to those found culpable,” he further stated, adding “it may be too early and too premature to apportion blames and out- rightly indict anyone or group before exhaustive investigations are concluded.”

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