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Nigeria: #KogiDecides2023 – How I Was Arrested, Detained On Election Day – Governorship Candidate

The candidate said he could not comment on the conduct of the Kogi election because he was completely locked out of the exercise by the police.

The candidate of the Action Alliance, Olayinka Braimoh, has relived his experience at the hands of police officers while trying to get to his polling unit on Saturday morning.

According to him, he was arrested along the Kabba-Obajana road and detained in a police cell along with his security and personal aides throughout the election period.

Mr Braimoh, who was answering questions from journalists in his Kabba home town, said the police found in one of his vehicles, a leftover ballot paper sample which was used to educate voters on how to thumbprint during voting.

“The next thing was they said we were carrying ballot papers. That was ridiculous because it is clearly stated here that this is a ballot paper sample,” he said while showing the ballot before the camera.

Mr Braimoh said he had no information on the election and could not comment on the conduct of the election because he was completely locked out of the exercise by the police.

“I have been kept in custody for almost the whole day today. I was coming in from Lokoja early hours of today and we got stuck in the traffic at Kabba junction after Obajana.

“There were several hundreds of trucks on the road, so we could not manoeuvre our way to come out of that place fast. Eventually, we were able to come out of there. So we got to the first checkpoint around Okeboko, our vehicle was searched, nothing was found. We were not carrying cash.

“After that, we were released to go and the next thing we saw was this bus overtook us and went ahead to wait at the next checkpoint. EFCC operatives came out from the bus with some policemen and the next thing was they searched again and they saw the leftover of our flyers in the trunk of the trucks.

“The next thing was they said we were carrying ballot papers. That was ridiculous because it is clearly stated here that this is a ballot paper sample. They took us to the area command and we were all locked up. Both the police and every personnel, they pushed us inside the cell and locked us up inside the cell.

“They collected our phones and kept us incommunicado for most part of today. so I don’t have any information, as I speak to you, regarding the election today until I get the feedback because my phones were collected and my batteries went flat. So, I will need to get an update before I can make any comment about the election.”

His supporters were apprehensive in the early hours of Saturday when they could neither find him nor reach him on his phone during the voting period.

There were fears that he was kidnapped until his aide told PREMIUM TIMES he was arrested by security agents.

The Police Public Relations Officer for Kogi State, William Aya, did not pick up his calls to comment on the development.

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