There are indications that some leading members of the All Progressives Congress in Kogi State have been arrested with a large amount of cash.

It was gathered that the chieftains were arrested at Itobe Bridge on Friday evening by military personnel.

The party chieftains were travelling in a convoy of five cars when they were intercepted, it was gathered.

Although the police was yet to confirm the development as of the time of filing this report, Friday Makama, a leading member of the party, confirmed the arrest.

Mr Makama is the head of the controversial Kogi State Task Force on Illegal Smuggling of Firearms and Other Related Crimes.

Mr Makama who spoke to journalists on Friday in Lokoja, accused the military of detaining some APC members at Itobe Bridge in the state and collecting the party’s money with them.

He also denied that he was arrested along with other party chiefs by the military, saying that the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Muritala Ajaka, was behind the fake news flying across the state.

The special task force on illegal arms was set up in May this year by Governor Yahaya Bello for the purpose of mopping up illegal arms in circulation in the state.

But the task force had been criticized by the opposition, which described it as Mr Bello’s killer squad, alleging that it was made up of people said to be political thugs.

A federal high court in Abuja had in October restrained the special task force from performing the task of regulating firearms possession in the state.

In a judgement, James Omotosho, the presiding judge, ordered the removal of Friday Makama as director-general of the special task force.

The judge held that the governor “had no powers to unilaterally regulate or control the possession of, or dealing in firearms in Kogi state or any part thereof.”

But speaking in that capacity, Mr Makama, alleged that the military’s roles in the Kogi poll was “suspicious.”

“Military is a mirror of any country and by the reason of that, we are under every obligation to respect that institution,” he said.

“I do not have anything against the military coming to give supportive role to the Nigeria Police Force. But, the current event that is unfolding where the candidate of the Social Democratic Party can declare war against certain persons who are loyal to the candidature of Ododo of APC becomes worrisome and this is exactly what is happening now.

“It has gone to the extent that military is no longer after gun. Military are no longer after arms and amunition that is being smuggled into the state, but you can see a situation where military will stop the supporters of the APC and begin to take money that belongs to the party from them.

“I was only informed that my council chairman and others including a reputable member of this union, Comrade Ali Atabo, was stopped on Itobe bridge and being held on Itobe bridge for supporting a political party of his choice. This is where the role of the Army becomes now suspicious.”

Mr Makama further explained that after a stakeholders meeting of the party in Lokoja, the party chiefs took off to their zone before they were intercepted.

“Their only offence that up till this time, they are being held on that bridge is that the party sent them with money for the purpose of the election,” he said.

“This is why they are there and this is why the role is suspicious. Even as we speak, the candidate of the SDP had since declared that I must be arrested. What is my offence? Perhaps, because I do not support his candidature or I am not a member of the SDP.”

Security agencies have been urged to be fair and nonpartisan in the election, while providing protection for the voters and electoral officers on election day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *