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INEC and police deny an alleged attempt to rig the governorship election in Kebbi.

The Independent National Electoral Commission and the Kebbi State Police Command have denied plans to collude with the state's governing All Progressives Congress to rig the next governorship election.

The claim was made at a press conference in Birnin Kebbi by the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate in the state, Aminu Bande, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

According to NAN, the candidate claimed that INEC and the police were conspiring with the governing party to run the next elections without employing the bimodal voter accreditation system.

He further implied that on the eve of the election, voting sheets would be provided to the ruling party to be thumb-printed for use on election day.

On Tuesday, the INEC in Kebbi State dismissed all of the charges as a fabrication of the opposition party's mind.

INEC, commenting via Kebbi State Deputy Director for Voter Education and Publicity, Alhaji Muhammed Rabi'u, denied the claims, saying that the usage of BVAS was covered under Federal Republic of Nigeria legislation.

"BVAS must be used in all elections in Nigeria henceforth, and it will continue to be utilized until a more superior technology is obtained. I assure you that there is no such thing and that no single polling station in the state would hold elections without BVAS.

"Any attempt from any quarter or from any of our ad hoc workers to conduct an election without BVAS will undoubtedly result in prosecution." Anybody from outside who believes he can conspire with any of our workers to do so, I apologize; we will not allow that person to go free; he or she must be punished."

On the allegation of issuing ballot papers to the ruling party on the eve of elections, Rabi'u stated that ballot papers were part of sensitive materials in the custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria and that agents from all political parties and security agencies must be present before such materials are distributed.

"All critical materials are at CBN for safekeeping. Before we go for them, we have to notify the police and the political parties to go there together on the same day at the same time. INEC cannot function without the assistance of security agencies and political party operatives.

"Automatically, as an agent of a political party, you are an ambassador of that party; thus, it's your obligation to monitor and guarantee that the proper thing is done. "Therefore, such a thing is not feasible, and we are not conspiring with anyone to do something bad," he stated.

Mr Ahmed Magaji-Kontagora, the Commissioner of Police in Kebbi State, claimed the claims were false, adding that the police were a Federal Government agency and threatening to be apolitical.

The CP stated, through the command's Public Relations Officer, SP Nafi'u Abubakar, "We were advised to stay impartial in all elections; thus, I don't think any member of the force will conspire with INEC or any other individual to interfere with the election; this is not true."

He stated that the state police and other sister agencies were fully prepared to guarantee a smooth and successful election across the state, asking all political parties and voters to maintain their trust in the police and other security agencies.


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Aminu Bande Birnin Kebbi INEC NAN News Agency of Nigeria


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