Anambra guber: IPOB denies ‘vote and die’ threat as police deployment hits 47,000

Anambra

After its alleged death threat to eligible voters in the November 18 Anambra State governorship election went viral, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has described the information as false.

This came as the Nigeria Police Force announced an additional 26,000 police officers to the 21,000 it earlier planned to mobilize for the election.

According to a statement issued by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, in Awka on Sunday, the instruction to its members was to boycott the election as ‘a form of civil disobedience’, not to disrupt it or harm anyone who chooses to participate as being speculated in a widely circulated video last week.

He noted that the threat of violence against the people of the state during the election was being sponsored by some leaders in the Southeastern part of the country to discredit the IPOB.

“We insist on total boycott of all election because voting in Anambra or any other elections in Nigeria is an exercise in futility since Aso Rock has already decided who it wants to be sworn in as governor of the state.

“Risking one’s life to go and vote on Saturday, with trigger-happy Hausa/Fulani soldiers looking for a Biafran to kill, is a risky adventure not worth undertaking by any sane person,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim, has ordered the deployment of additional 26,000 police personnel to augment the 21,000 originally mobilized for the Anambra governorship election, holding on Saturday.

The development was contained in a statement by the Force spokesman, CSP Jimoh Moshood.

According to him, the composition of the contingents would include police special forces, Police Mobile Force ( PMF), Counter Terrorism Unit ( CTU), Special Protection Unit ( SPU), Anti Bomb Squad, Marine Police, Force Armament Unit, FCIID, Mounted Troops, Dogs Section, Police Gun Boats and the Armoured Personnel Carriers ( APC).

The police spokesperson also informed that the members of the team, who are under strict instruction to be civil and polite in the discharge of their duties, will be led by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of operations. The DIG will be assisted by an Assistant Inspector-General of Police.

Adding, the FPRO said a Commissioner of Police will be assigned to man each of the three senatorial districts of the state, while about 303 police patrol vehicles were among the operational vehicles deployed to cover the entire state, including the riverine areas.

Moshood warned the outlawed IPOB and its members from attempting a disruption of the exercise as he stated that there would restriction of vehicular movement in and out of the state from midnight on Nov. 17 till after the voting period on the day on the election.

Anambra election: We’re ready for IPOB – Police

IPOB

The Nigeria Police Force has reacted to the threat issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) against the Anambra State governorship election scheduled for Saturday, November 18.

The proscribed secessionist group had issued a threat during a road show at the state capital last Saturday to warn the would-be electorate against participating in the election, declaring death as consequence for not yielding the warning.

It was a renewed threat as IPOB, who sought to carve a sovereign entity for the South-Eastern part of Nigeria, had often insisted on scuttling the election.

Apart from promising death to the electorate, the group also demanded the release of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who whereabouts remains unknown since the military raided his country home in a recent operation.

But, in an interview published by the Punch newspaper on Sunday, Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Garba Umar, said the command was fully prepared to ensure a violence-free election for the state.

“We are all aware that IPOB is already a proscribed group and the proscription stops them from meeting or carrying out any activities. We will go after them if they try to foment trouble, through our intelligence network. Since their proscription, we have not had any activity from them like before when they went about molesting people.

“Sometimes, in the past, they passed through my office and even throw stones at us and insulted us but since the Federal Government waded in and got them proscribed, we will not have any of that because they are now an illegal organisation and if they surface, we will go after them,” he said.

According to him, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has approved and made available all human and material resources needed to make the police discharge its duties effectively before, during and after the election.

“The IG did the entire mobilisation and we have taken everything into cognizance so we can have a free and fair election. We assure members of the public that we will have the best election with enough security; and people are sure, they know and have seen our strategy on security, and they are ready to come out and vote because they have seen our strategy,” the CP added.

While defending the large number of police officers (about 28,000) mobilized for the election, Umar said it was not intended to intimidate the voters and other residents of the state, but in compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act which stipulates how police officers should be distributed for election operations.

Nnamdi Kanu in Abarabe’s custody, FG alleges

Nnamdi Kanu

The Federal Government has accused Enyinnaya abararabe, Senator representing Abia South in Nigeria’s Senate, of keeping the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, in his custody to shield him from appearing in court to answer to charges against him.

Abaribe was among the South-East leaders, who stood surety for Kanu before he was released on bail on April 24, 2017.

The government’s allegation was contained in a reply to Abaribe’s application to the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking to discontinue from being the secessionist leader’s surety before the court.

Describing the application as belated, the FG, in its counter-affidavit and written address, insisted that the senator has to produce Kanu to enable him continue with his trial before the court.

It alleged that Abaribe was aware of Kanu’s consistent violation of bail conditions long before September 11 when he claimed to have lost contact with him.

“That it was at this point at violating the conditions at the bail that the senator surety ought to surrender the 1st defendant and or bring up this application; “That this application is belated and ill-timed;

“The applicant failed to apply to the court timeously, stating on oath that the defendant bound by recognizance to appear before this court had violated the bail condition given by this court,” the Federal Government submitted in its counter-affidavit.

Also, in the written address to back up the application, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, urged the court to sanction Abararabe for aiding and abating Kanu to flout the bail conditions and make him forfeit the bond he entered into.

“My lord, the surety has failed woefully to abide by the terms of the contract he entered into with this court and therefore cannot claim frustration

“We urge that the court hold, that surety having refused to do what he ought to have done pursuant to section 174 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 aided and abetted the 1st defendant in the flouting of the bail conditions of this court and should forfeit the bond he entered into.”

The Federal Government also denied the suspicion that Kanu was in the Nigerian Military’s custody, saying the military activities in Abia State tagged ‘Operation Python Dance II’ was a routine exercise in its second year carried out by the military at the end of every year.”

Kanu did not appear in court for the resumed sitting on October 17, but his co-defendants were present.

While reacting to Abaribe’s application to withdraw himself from among Kanu’s sureties in the case, the presiding judge said she would not hear the application until the missing defendant is produced.

She gave Abaribe and the two other sureties up till November 20 to produce the defendant in court.