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Senate orders probe of Ekiti bye-election violence



Senate orders probe of Ekiti bye-election violence
Senate has asked the Inspector General of Police, IGP Adamu Muhammad to order a full scale investigation into last Saturday’s violent disruption of Ekiti East Constituency 1 State Assembly bye-election leading to the death of at least three persons while many were injured.
This is even as the upper legislative chamber stressed the need for National Assembly to accelerate the passage of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill currently before it to forestall future occurrences.
While emphasizing that the investigation has become necessary in order to apprehend and bring to book perpetrators of the dastard act, it also urged the federal government to ensure the safety of electoral officials, security personnel and election materials during elections.
These resolutions followed a motion by Senator Biodun Olujinmi (PDP Ekiti South) titled “Election violence in Ekiti: Need to eschew restraint” presented during the plenary.
She called for immediate establishment of the Electoral Offences Tribunal and  shoot at sight order on any person attempting to snatch ballot box in future election.
Olujinmi who witnessed the violence in her Ward 7 but narrowly escaped death, gave account of how a voter, a nursing mother police officer were shot and a youth corp member and others suffered various degrees of injuries from gunshots.
She commended the Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi for his quick response which led to arrest of a few perpetrators who are currently at the correctional centres.
Leading debate on the motion, Olujinmi noted the exercise which started on a good note in a peaceful and orderly manner was suddenly disrupted at noon when hoodlums invaded the polling centres to snatch ballot boxes.
“Also in the process no fewer than three persons were feared dead and many others injured in Omuo Ekiti, Ekiti East Local Government area of Ekiti State”.
She concluded that ” no election is worth the blood of any Nigerian as democracy is the government of the people and the people should be allowed to make their choices through their votes”.
Other senators that contributed to the motion condemned the violence totally and hoped that such issues must be addressed in the proposed amendment to the Electoral Act 2010.
According to Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC Ekiti Central), all politicians should be  remind that no position is worth the blood of a y human being and that they should  caution their  supporters to always  toe the path of peace in the conduct of all election.
Also, Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC Kano South) assured that issues surrounding electoral violence are receiving serious attention in the Amendment process to the Electoral Act.
In his contribution, Senator. Nicholas Tofowomo (APC Ondo South), said a judicial  panel of inquiry should visit Omuo Ekiti to assess the level of damage and injuries inflicted o innocent Nigerians.
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