GOVS’ IMMUNITY DOESN’T EXTEND TO POLLING CENTRES –MBU

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The Assistant
Inspector- General of Police in charge of Zone 2, Mr. Joseph Mbu, yesterday
declared that the constitutional immunity being enjoyed by state governors
would not extend to polling centres on election days. He said the police were
determined to protect the nation’s Electoral Act and would not condone any
governor that disrupts the elections with his entourage. Mbu spoke during his
visit to the Ogun State Police Command, Eleweran, Abeokuta where he addressed
officers and men ahead of the rescheduled general elections.

The AIG, while
paying a courtesy visit earlier to the state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun,
vowed to uphold the code and ethics of the police force, adding that he would
not accept any form of thuggery and lawlessness from any political party at the
polls. “All I’m interested in is that we would not allow anybody to turn the
states in my care into theatre of war. I will not accept any thuggery and
lawlessness from any political party,” he told the governor. Addressing
officers and men in the state command, Mbu stressed the need for police to be
disciplined and impartial in the conduct of the general elections.
The AIG, who is
in charge of Lagos and Ogun states, warned policemen against engaging in
corrupt practices and acts capable of discrediting the electoral process,
saying any officer found wanting would face serious sanctions. He noted that
the police hierarchy would not allow governors and other elected office holders
to intimidate eligible voters at the polling booths during the elections.
Mbu added: “The
governor will come quietly, maybe with his ADC (aidede- camp) to vote and walk
away quietly. “Anybody who comes there with people jumping down, don’t be
intimidated. Stop them, even if he’s the governor, you have the power to say
stop there and he stops there. Your Excellency, I don’t like your conduct.”
He declared that
the police would not hesitate to arrest any officer found accompanying
governors and other public office holders to disrupt elections. Mbu said: “Our
duty is to make sure that the elections are conducted freely, fairly and
peacefully and violence-free. There must be a code of conduct that you have to
uphold to make sure that we actualise our goals. Don’t bring God into this
matter because you have to work hard before you now ask God to help you. How do
you work hard? You make sure that you prepare.
“This is a
turning point in the history of the Nigeria Police where you have two very
powerful political parties contesting keenly. So, we have to be very serious.
We have to be very bold. We have to be very brave.
You must remain
at your duty post. You must make sure you keep an eagle eye on everybody coming
there. “Even if the governor comes there with an entourage and with policemen
by his side to come and intimidate people there, you call your senior because
you don’t have the power over them. The governor will come quietly, maybe with
his ADC to vote and walk away quietly.” The AIG, who warned criminals against
the killing of policemen, however, said policemen should only fire their guns
in selfdefence.

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