Kogi State Police Command has confirmed that gunmen attacked the secretary of the State Governorship Election Tribunal, Mr David Umar Mike on Monday in Lokoja the capital and made away with sensitive petition documents on the November 11 gubernatorial election in the state.
The State Police Command’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP William Aya, disclosed this in Lokoja on Wednesday.
The police authorities said the attackers of the state governorship tribunal secretary carted away all the petition documents filed by five political parties at gunpoint.
According to the police command, the documents carted away from Mike include, petitions filed by four (4) Parties: Action Alliance (AA), Action People’s Party (APP), Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) as well as two (2) Record Books/a Bag containing his personal item.
The police added that the incident happened just before the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) office at about 1320hrs on Monday, while victims were on their way to the tribunal venue at the state High court complex, Lokoja.
Police said, “On Monday, 04/12/2023 at about 1820hrs, one Mr David Umar Mike ‘m’ Secretary to Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal along with Labode Apreala (f) Confidential Secretary and Hassimu Adamu Assistant Secretary, came to State Criminal Investigation Department, Kogi State Police Headquarters and reported that on the said date, three of them left their Hotel rooms in Lokoja about 1300hrs, heading to their Office at the High Court Complex driving in his (David’s) Peugeot 406 Car.
“That just before the CBN at about 1320hrs, one SUV vehicle which had earlier overtaken him blocked his car with two other SUVs following behind.
“All of them surrounded and blocked him as he attempted to reverse. That he saw about seven hooded men all heavily armed and dressed in black attire who shot severally into the air and dragged him and his two other colleagues out of their car, ransacked the car and made away with all the petition documents.”
SP Aya added that the state Commissioner of Police, CP Onuoha Benthrand, had ordered for a thorough and diligent investigation into the incident.
Meanwhile, the police command has advised general public to avoid statements that may prejudice ongoing investigation into the matter even as the command appealed to anyone with useful information on the incident to provide same to command.
As Court of Appeal relocates Kogi guber tribunal sitting from Lokoja to Abuja
Meanwhile, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, the president of the Court of Appeal, has relocated the Kogi governorship election petitions tribunal from Lokoja to Abuja.
A statement by David Umar Mike, secretary of the tribunal, said that its sitting would now be at the National Judicial Institute on Umar Yar’Adua Way.
It urged litigants to take note of the venue change.
The statement was silent on the reason behind the relocation, but a top source at the tribunal said the step was necessitated by “security reasons.”
The source said that members of staff of the tribunal had been attacked on several occasions in Lokoja.
“Just last Monday, tribunal officials were attacked on the way to the office.
“Armed men just pounced on the officials. They robbed them of everything. They took away all the documents that were in the car.
“Copies of petitions and personal belongings, official receipts, processes like subpoena, official stamps, were all stolen.
“Generally, thugs are frustrating the job and the lives of our officials are at stake, making it difficult to work there,” the source said.
The All Progressive Congress won the November 11 off-cycle election, with the Social Democratic Party coming second.