By Gowon Emakpe
Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr Usman Baba, has approved the establishment of Electoral Offences Desk at the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), Abuja.
A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, on Tuesday in Abuja, said the Commissioner of Police in charge of FCID would serve as the Desk Officer.
He said the I-G also approved the establishment of the desk at State Commands nationwide, with the Assistant Commissioners of Police in charge of the Criminal Investigation Departments as desk officers.
Adejobi said the mandate of the Electoral Offences Desk Officers would be coalition and investigation of electoral offences/complaints from the public.
He said the idea was to determine the culpability of the complaints in line with the amended Electoral Act 2022, and proffering charges before Courts of competent jurisdiction for necessary legal action.
The IG, according to him, called on the Desk Officers to commence their activities immediately with some isolated cases recorded during the pre-election activities.
According to him, in line with this mandate, operatives of the Police Command in Nasarawa State have arrested 24 suspects over alleged political thuggery.
He said the suspects were arrested at Minki Suites, along Keffi-Akwanga Road following credible and actionable intelligence.
Adejobi said the alleged thugs, suspected to be loyal to an aspirant in the Nasarawa West Senatorial District primaries, came into the hotel in a convoy of seven private vehicles.
He said items recovered from the suspects included eight pump action guns, two locally made revolver guns, 37 rounds of live cartridges, four bulletproof vests and 27 mobile phones.
The Police spokesman said other items recovered were two pairs of vigilante uniforms, five cutlasses, 10 assorted knives, criminal charms and other incriminating objects.
He said preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects, who were thugs for hire, carried out their heinous acts under the guise of being members of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN).