The Kogi State Police Command has said that the arrest of the Kogi State governorship candidate of the Action Alliance, Olayinka Braimoh, during the off-cycle governorship election in the state was not in connection with any electoral offence.
The command stated that Braimoh was arrested by the police because of his disregard for restriction orders.
This followed reports that the governorship candidate and some of his aides were arrested in the Kabba Bunu Local Government Area of the state, for allegedly having in their possession some campaign materials which were kept in his vehicle.
But their arrest raised apprehension for the fear of a suspected kidnap when his aides and some of his party officials could not reach him on the phone.
Braimoh had also claimed that the police operatives collected their phones and kept them incommunicado after locking them up inside the cell of the Area Command for several hours.
Speaking with Saturday PUNCH, the spokesperson for the state Police Command, William Aya, clarified that Braimoh and his aides’ arrest was not related to the rumoured offence as reported by other media (not PUNCH), saying it was based on the violation of the order on the restriction of movement on the election day.
He added that Braimoh was arrested for flouting an extant order which forbade security personnel from moving around with VIPs while the election was ongoing after which he was eventually released,
Aya added that the police would probe the matter as there were disciplinary procedures for the hearing of such matters.
Aya said, “It was a violation of restriction of movement. You know there was an order that no security personnel should escort any VIP on the day of election and there was a restriction of movement.
“He violated the restriction of movement because they said the police and any security agencies attached to them should not move with them on that day. That was the order, and it was not as if there was any electoral offence.
“For this one now, it is the police that will probe. We have our disciplinary procedures for hearing of such. They stopped them while moving with security personnel. We put them in our office and allowed him to go because he is allowed to go alone and not go with his security agencies. It was just a violation of the order and it was not electoral offence related.”
Meanwhile, the chairman of the party, Fred Ambo, described the arrest as a manipulated one, condemning the manner in which it occurred and how the governorship candidate was treated.
He noted that Braimoh was rendered incommunicado for several hours and that the kind of treatment meted on him (Braimoh) could only be experienced by a criminal.