By Ikhili Ebalu, Benin City
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State has raised the alarm over plans by Police in the state to release a man, who was arrested for alleged electoral crime committed during the governorship election held in the state on Saturday.
The party warned the police not to give in to pressure by leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to release the suspect, Mr Kayode Mobolaji, who was arrested in Ubiaja, Esan South East Local Government Area.
According to the State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chris Nehikhare, the suspect, Mr Kayode Mobolaji who claims he is from Ibadan, in Oyo State, in company of some other unidentified persons had disrupted voting at ward 6, Unit 13 in Esan South-East local government area.
The suspects led by Mr Kayode stormed the voting center in two Hilux vans, shooting sporadically in the air. They engaged a patrol team of the Police in a shooting battle that led to the killing of one of the suspects after the police had demobilized their vehicles. The others ran into the bush.
After an intensive and extensive search of the area, Mr Kayode Mobolaji was discovered in his hideout and caught with an AK-47 riffle and about 200 live ammunition.
He was arrested and taken to Ubiaja Police station where he made useful statements. “We followed up the matter up to the point where the suspect was transferred to Benin for further interrogation.
He said, ” while we are waiting for the police to arraign the criminal, we have received intelligence that the police were set to release the armed and very dangerous electoral offender.
“We know that those who sent out these men are the same people mounting pressure on police to release him without facing trial so that their cover will not be blown. We insist that his sponsors must be unveiled and tried alongside him.
” He is not a local. He was provided with the Hilux vans he used for the operations, he was accommodated in someone’s house where the plan was hatched. His sponsors are shivering hence the pressure on the police.
” We demand he should be placed under protective custody as his sponsors are very desperate and are considering the option of ordering his elimination in police custody.
This is of grave concern to us because we desire that those who committed electoral crime should be made to face penalties for their actions so that it will serve as deterrent to others.” Nehikhare concluded.