Wednesday, April 15, 2015 7:48 am
MADUABUCHI NMERIBEH/KanoIt is a bad time for a former Commissioner of Rural and Community Development in Kano, northwest Nigeria, Alhaji Musa Illyasu Kwankwaso of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as police have declared him wanted over his alleged involvement in electoral violence.
Ilyasu Kwankwaso and 19 others have been accused of burning and destroying sensitive election materials, property of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, during last Saturday’s gubernatorial and state House of Assembly elections at Kauran Mata in Madobi Local Government Area.
Incidentally, that is where Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso hails from.
Ilyasu Kwankwaso, known to be one of the loyalists of Minister of Education, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, served Kano as Commissioner for Rural and Community Development when Shekarau was Governor.
Among 76 suspects paraded by the police were 14 political thugs who confessed that Ilyasu Kwankwaso was the mastermind of the attack on INEC and its materials at Kauran Mata in Madobi.
Commissioner of Police in Kano, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, said his men will not relent until the top politician who evaded arrest is fished out and brought to book.
“The suspects mentioned one Musa Ilyasu Kwankwaso as their sponsor. Detectives from SCID stormed his house but unfortunately, he jumped over the fence, abandoned his regalia (Jumper) and escaped into the bush. We are still man-hunting for him and four other suspects still at large,” Idris added.
Giving a graphic account of the incident, Idris said: “On 11 April 2015, at about 7 a.m. when INEC supervisor was sharing election materials at Kauran Mata Registration Area Centre (RAC) in Madobi LGA, before distributing to various polling stations, one Hussaini Ibrahim of Kauran Mata Village, the Chairman of PDP Vanguard in the area introduced himself to the INEC Supervisor at the Registration Area Centre (RAC) and demanded for more explanation on the sensitive materials shared for distribution by the INEC supervisor.
“While he was being attended to, he snatched some of the ballot papers and tore them, he, together with 18 others, all of same address, armed with dangerous weapons, snatched and set ablaze 4015 ballot papers for governorship and state House of Assembly elections.
“Prompt arrival of the police re-enforcement led to the rescue of the INEC officials unharmed and secured the card readers. The materials were replaced at about 10:30 a.m. under tight protection. Accreditation and voting was subsequently carried out successfully in the area.”
The Commissioner of Police said exhibits recovered from the suspects include two sharp knives, cutlass and stick, adding that 14 people were arrested in connection to the electoral crime.
Also at Kwanar Dangora village, Idris said that at about 12 noon when election was going on in Badafi Ward, Turame Polling unit No. 014 in Kiru Local Government Area, one Sale Audu and six others conspired and snatched two ballot boxes, tore ballot papers, leading to the cancellation of election in that polling unit.
At Takai Local Government Area where the gubernatorial candidate of PDP, Salihu Sagir Takai hails from, a team of police men arrested Aisha Zubairu, a Presiding Officer at Kurido Polling Unit No. 009 in Karfi Ward, along with two INEC ad-hoc staff, Sabi’u Suleman and Hamisu Murtala, for conspiring and diverting electoral materials to Aisha’s resident, a situation which prompted INEC to cancel election in the polling unit.
Another INEC ad-hoc staff, Mohammed Ishaku was arrested at Shanono for abandoning his polling unit—Bankamawa polling unit 003, and hid inside a hospital where he was caught thumb-printing 53 gubernatorial ballot papers and 16 state House of Assembly ballot papers in favour of the PDP, leading to the cancellation of election at the polling unit.
In Rano Local Government Area, one Abdullahi Umar and three others from Buram village conspired and snatched sensitive election materials, including 500 pieces of ballot papers, a card reader, four gubernatorial result sheets, at Buram Polling Unit No. 010.
CP Idris said his men arrested the culprits and the sensitive materials were also recovered.
In Gabasawa Local Government Area, police arrested political thugs led by one Wasilu Haruna, who armed with dangerous weapons, disrupted election at Polling Unit N. 014 at Kawo Primary School.
Also in Tofa Local Government Area, one Abdulmalik Bala conspired with Ibrahim Ya’u and Hamza Sule and attacked Sabongarin Unguwar Rimi polling unit , destroying two ballot boxes containing cast votes.
Exhibits recovered from the suspects include 15 ballot boxes, ballot papers, four INEC bags, eight knives, two sticks, two swords, two cutlasses, three INEC stamps, three markers, two tap gums, two card readers, seven INEC Reflective Jackets, scissors, torn gubernatorial and state House of Assembly result sheets and accreditation register.
CP Idris said the Command’s legal unit is collaborating with INEC to ensure that the suspects are prosecuted according to the electoral law.