Three people were killed during the gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections in Akwa Ibom State on Saturday, State Commissioner of Police, Gabriel Achong, has said.
Mr. Achong, who spoke on Channels Television in a telephone interview from Uyo on Sunday, said 20 people were arrested for electoral offences across the state.
The arrests, the police commissioner said, were for various crimes including ballot box and election materials snatching. He described the exercise as generally peaceful and incident-free.
He said the arrested offenders have been handed over to operatives of the Force Criminal Investigation Department to liaise with the Independent National Electoral Commission on how to charge them to court.
“The only major incidents I could recall throughout the state involved three loss of lives in the course of the election,” Mr. Achong said. “None of the incidents happened in any particular polling booth, but along the road.”
He said the police received few reports of violent acts, pointing out that such problems were expected.
The ballot boxes that were snatched, he said, were promptly retrieved from the hoodlums and returned to the polling booths with the election materials to allow the election continue in those places.
In spite of reports of other violent acts across the state during the elections, Mr. Achong said no major incident was reported throughout the state.
Pressed to comment on reports that the state recorded the second highest number of incidents during the elections, Mr. Achong said the three Assistant Inspector Generals of Police drafted to Uyo, Ikot Ekpene and Eket Senatorial districts reported that the situation in their various locations were “very very calm.”
On the protests that broke out in Uyo on Sunday by members of the All Progressives Congress in the aftermath of the election, Mr. Achong said they were “disgruntled persons.”
He said he did not know the basis of their protest.
He added that the situation has since been brought under control.
However, reports had it that the protesters, who were protesting the general conduct of the election in the state by the electoral body, had attempted to torch the INEC State headquarters in Uyo before they were forced to retreat by the police.