Police arrest Kwara senator

Rafiu Ibrahim
Rafiu Ibrahim

A Nigerian senator has been arrested by the police, a day to a general election in which he is seeking a return to office.

Rafiu Ibrahim was invited for questioning following allegations he orchestrated a violence that broke out in Ojoku, Kwara State, four days ago, police said.

The Tuesday night incident left two persons dead, reports said.

“We invited him for questioning on Thursday, and he was with us for several hours,” Kwara police spokesperson Ajayi Okasanmi told PREMIUM TIMES Friday morning.

Mr Ibrahim’s associates said he remained in custody as of Friday morning.

Mr Okasanmi said he was unsure whether or not Mr Ibrahim, representing Kwara South Senatorial District, had been released.

Kayode Egbetokun, the Kwara police commissioner, declined comments about the development, telling PREMIUM TIMES by telephone Friday morning he was not in a conducive situation to speak on the matter.

Mr Ibrahim, of the Peoples Democratic Party, was accused of unleashing a group of armed attackers against Lola Ashiru, his All Progressives Congress challenger in Kwara South.

Mr Ashiru was reportedly on a campaign stop in Ojoku, Mr Ibrahim’s ancestral hometown, on Tuesday night when supporters of both camps clashed.

Both camps have blamed one another for the deadly incident.

Mr Ibrahim’s supporters accused the police of inviting and detaining only the senator, while leaving Mr Ashiru to continue his campaign ahead of the election on Saturday.

They said his detention could hinder his election strategy, while conferring advantage on his opponent.

Political atmosphere in Kwara has become increasingly volatile as election day approaches.

The PDP kicked when Mr Egbetokun, once a security aide to APC chieftain Bola Tinubu, was moved to Kwara earlier this month, calling his neutrality into serious question.

The police declined to tell PREMIUM TIMES why they did not invite Mr Ashiru for questioning in the aftermath of the latest violence.

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