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Police to handle ballot box snatching in line with law – Lagos CP

…..Deploy 30,000 personnel for election

Joy Anyim, Lagos

The Commissioner of Police in charge of the Lagos State Police Command has said the Command will treat cases of ballot box snatching in accordance with relevant law. The Commissioner, Zubairu Muazu who stated this while briefing Journalists on Thursday said 30,000 personnel drawn from the police and other security agencies have been deployed to ensure a smooth and peaceful electoral process. Speaking at the Lagos State Police Headquarters in Ikeja, Muazu said ballot box snatching was part of electoral offences hence arrested persons will be charged to appropriate courts.  On the preparedness of the command to deal with such issues, the CP said, “Our men have the ingredients of the electoral act; they have been well trained on what is expected of them before, during and after the elections. So when anyone who snatches a ballot box is caught, they will be tried in court and punished according to the law.  “ I want to assure you that the Nigeria Police force in collaboration with other security agencies under the umbrella of Inter-Agency consultative committee on this election is ready come Saturday. A very robust operation order to cover deployment of security personnel for the elections is on ground, so we will ensure there is a safe and secured environment for electorate in Lagos to go and cast their votes without fear and intimidation. “Our major role in the entire electoral process starts at the electoral body office INEC where we are providing security for electoral officers to go about their duty unmolested. We are to provide security for electoral materials. We are to be present and ensure there is orderliness at all polling centres and ensure that everything goes on very well.” Speaking further on the role of security agencies in the state, Muazu said the command has also put in place a post election security plan to evade possible fracas that is often associated with most elections in the country. “We have responsibility to provide security when results are counted at the pulling units. After the elections, we are to provide security at collation centres, when elections results are been announced and ensure that the environment is safe when the party that wins are celebrating and those who are aggrieved go to tribunals. We will ensure that there is adequate security at the tribunal, conduct diligent investigations in all electoral offenders who might have contravened electoral law and prosecute. We may be expected to give evidence at the electoral tribunal.”  Commenting on the recent cult clashes in the state, Muazu stated that the command had the situation under control as such skirmishes will not affect security during the elections. “There will be constant patrol and pin down patrol points we won’t allow the recent cases of cult clashes to affect the election.  The election will be well secured. Everyone should come out and cast their votes. ” 

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