Femi Makinde, Osogbo
Ahead of the Osun State governorship election, the Nigeria Police Force has deployed officers in the state to gather intelligence on the strategies politicians are planning to use to induce voters.
The Head, Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit of the Police, Mr Abayomi Shogunle, said this in Osogbo on Tuesday during his visit to the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists in Osun State.
He also called on the people of the state to report any policeman engaged in professional misconduct of violation of human rights before, during and after the election, saying the police were determined to root out bad eggs from the force.
He said, “We are aware of the issue of vote-buying and I know that voters do not need to go to polling units with money except the amount they may need to buy snacks because of the period of the election.
“Members of the Police Intelligence Unit are already working on vote-buying in the state. Police will go after anyone trying to induce voters during this election. You are not expected to go to polling units with huge money because you are not expected to travel far distance to vote. It is expected that you register close to where you reside and that should be a distance you can trek.”
The police boss said the police would be neutral and would not work for any of the political parties or any candidate.
Shogunle assured the people that the police would do everything to stop inducement.
He said the promise by the Independent National Electoral Commission to redesign the polling booths in a way that would prevent voters from showing off their ballots to anybody would also assist in curbing vote-buying.
Shogunle, who is an assistant commissioner of police, said the police had recovered N11.1m from some officers accused of taking bribe, saying they had been punished for their offences.
He restated that bail was free and called on Nigerians to report any officer who demanded bribes from them for bail to the PCRRU for investigation.
He also encouraged victims of police brutality to note the area, the date and time of the day of the act, saying the police knew the officers deployed and that perpetrators of such acts of brutality would be fished out and punished.