The Kwara State Commissioner, Mr. Lawan Ado on Monday disclosed that it arrested 54 persons on varying electoral offenses during the state local government election held last Saturday.
He explained that security operatives arrested two suspects: a collation officer, Adeyemi Abolanle (female) and Olaide Samuel (m) at Unit 01, St William Primary School, Okaka ward 2, Taiwo Road in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, for burning ballot papers.
He also said that among the suspects was also a presiding officer, Isiaka Olayinka, who was arrested by security operatives attached to the Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission headquarters along Fate Road Ilorin.
He also alleged that many of the suspects arrested conducted themselves in disorderly manners during collation of final election results in KWASIEC vicinity on Sunday night. He added that others were arrested around Adeta area of Ilorin, Laolu Unit, Alapa and Morakinde’s compound in Oyun Local Government for suspected electoral offenses.
The Commissioner denied allegations of bias by security agencies in favor of the ruling All Progressives Congress and stated that the police could not ignore people, who according to him, in the guise of protest were conducting themselves in a disorderly manner.
He, therefore, advised the aggrieved people to seek redress in court rather than engage in unlawful conduct.
But Olayinka according to PUNCH who displayed his KWASIEC identification card as a presiding officer said he did not commit any offense to warrant any arrest. He explained that there was a problem between APC and PDP members, adding that they were ready to allegedly hijack the ballot box from him.
“So I decided to escape with it. And the police arrested me,” he said.
Meanwhile, different reactions had trailed KWASIEC LG election result declaration. While many APC leaders have praised the outcome of the election and rated it as transparent, free, fair and credible; the PDP state Chairman, Chief Iyiola Oyedepo; the Chairman of the Action Democratic Party, Mr. Adesina Adeshifa and the ADP LG chairmanship candidate in Edu Local Government, Mr. Abubakar Mohammed said the results were manipulated.
The opposition leaders also accused security agencies of bias against them in favor of APC. Oyedepo said it was surprising that the state PDP Assistant Public Relations Officer, Femi Yusuf, who he said was driving him was arrested. He also said many of his party members were arrested near KWASIEC for committing no offense but were only exercising their democratic right of peaceful protest when they felt the announcement of the final result was being delayed for no justifiable reason.
But the KWASIEC Chairman, Dr. Uthman Ajidagba said KWASIEC was neutral and transparent in its conduct of the election. He denied any electoral malfeasance by the commission.