The Kogi State Police Command issued a 24-hour ultimatum to Farouk Adejoh, the Social Democratic Party spokesperson, on Thursday.
The command, through its Public Relations Officer, SP William Ovye Aya, demanded substantiation for Adejoh’s claims against the Commissioner of Police. Failure to comply might prompt the police to employ “operational processes” to hold him accountable for his “reckless and unsubstantiated claims.”
The Police Command has given a strong warning to the SDP and other political parties, urging them to avoid causing disruptions to the peace in the state.
They emphasised that any attempts to interfere with the Independent National Electoral Commission’s operations would be met with severe legal consequences. They want everyone to understand that causing trouble during the electoral process won’t be tolerated and will result in facing the full force of the law.
It said, “While other parties have conducted themselves in a relatively peaceful manner, the activities of the Social Democratic Party have generated a lot of security concerns before, during, and after the election.
“They have refused to cooperate with the Nigerian Police in dealing with security issues, a situation that has raised tension in the state.”
The statement said, “Our attention has been drawn to a reckless allegation against the Kogi State Police Command and the Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Command, claiming that the CP was responsible for recruiting and supporting thugs in support of a certain political party or personalities.
“It is not the tradition of the Police Command to respond to all allegations, especially frivolous ones by politicians accusing us of bias, but the last one by one Farouk Adejoh, who claimed to be speaking on behalf of the Social Democratic Party, is a direct affront on the integrity and authority of the Nigerian Police Force, hence the need to set the record straight.
“The Command is hereby giving Farouk Adejoh 24 hours to substantiate his allegations against the State Police Command and the CP, or we might have no option but to invoke our operational processes to hold him to account for his reckless and unsubstantiated claims. The Police Command doesn’t belong to any political party. Our responsibility is to protect lives and property, a mandate we have protected without fear or favour.
“Today, we received reports of a protest gone awry at the State Office of the Independent National Electoral Commission. The CP swiftly directed the deployment of officers and men to restore normalcy at the INEC office. Our concern is the protection of the staff and property of the Electoral Commission as well as the safety of the citizens transacting businesses around the INEC Office.
“With the support of other security agencies, calm was restored at the INEC State Headquarters. How the operation that restored peace at the INEC Office has infuriated the Social Democratic Party is what we don’t understand. The protesters who blocked the road and were burning tyres to scare people were all wearing the fez caps of the Social Democratic Party.
“The Police Command hereby sounds a note of warning to the SDP and other political parties to desist from disturbing the peace of the state, as anyone that tries to obstruct operations at the INEC Office will face the full wrath of the law.
“The CP has therefore unbiasedly directed full investigations into the allegations raised in Farouk Adejoh’s statement with a view to ensuring that a final knell is placed on attempts by politicians to drag the Police Force into partisan disagreements. We are for all Nigerians.
“While other parties have conducted themselves in a relatively peaceful manner, the activities of the Social Democratic Party have generated a lot of security concerns before, during, and after the election. They have refused to cooperate with the Nigerian Police in dealing with security issues, a situation that has raised tension in the state.
“He urged all parties to have faith in the judiciary and refrain from taking the laws into their own hands. Any breach of peace henceforth will be dealt with decisively and without compromise, no matter the elements involved.
“The State Police Command wishes to assure Kogites of their safety, as plans have been put in place to guarantee peace.”