•One of the suspects identified as son of House of Reps aspirant
•Five arrested for electoral malpractices in Bauchi
The bye-election to fill the vacancy for the Lokoja /Kogi constituency in the House of Representatives turned bloody yesterday when angry voters lynched two men for allegedly trying to snatch ballot boxes.
It was one of four such elections in the country yesterday, the rest being for Katsina North Senatorial District, Bauchi South Senatorial District and Obudu State Constituency in Cross River State.
Five persons were arrested in connection with electoral offences during the Bauchi South Senatorial bye-election, according to the police.
The election in Katsina was peaceful although the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of vote buying.
The APC dismissed the allegation as the cry of a defeated man.
In the first of the two incidents in Kogi State yesterday, a yet to be identified man was mobbed by angry voters as he tried to snatch a ballot box at a polling unit close to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company’s office in Lokoja.
The Nation gathered that the deceased in the process of carrying out his mission when voters on the queue confronted him.
An eyewitness said the suspect stabbed one of the voters who first stood up to him before others rallied round and overpowered him.
He was allegedly stabbed on the neck and died on the spot.
The second suspect was beaten to death at a polling booth in front of the palace of the Maigarin of Lokoja .
He was said to be the son of a House of Representatives aspirant who recently declared his political aspiration.
An eyewitness said the suspect invaded the voting centre and attempted to snatch the ballot box when party supporters swooped on him and beat him to death.
He was due for burial at press time.
The police public relations officer, William Aya, a Deputy Superintendent of police, confirmed only the first incident.
He said the deceased was a suspected political thug who invaded the voting centre with a view to snatching the ballot box but was overpowered by party supporters and got killed.
He, however, denied knowledge of him having a shot gun in his pocket which went off.
He also said that the corpse of the suspect had been deposited at the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja Mortuary, while investigation was on to arrest those involved in his death.
He could not be reached by the time the second killing took place.
There were also allegations of vote buying in some parts of the constituency.
Some voters were allegedly paid between N2000 and N3000.
Police arrest five for electoral offences in Bauchi
The police in Bauchi State yesterday arrested five persons for electoral offences during the Bauchi South Senatorial bye-election.
Spokesman of the state command, Kamal Datti, said two of the suspects were arrested in a polling unit behind the police headquarters in Bauchi and the other three in different parts of the senatorial district.
He said that reports reaching the police showed that “so far, the election process is going fine, peaceful and hitch free.”
PDP alleges vote buying by APC in Katsina
The Katsina State Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Yusuf Salisu Majigiri yesterday accused the APC of spending over N2b to buy votes in the Katsina North Senatorial bye election.
He claimed the APC wanted victory at all cost.
He told reporters in Daura, hometown of President Muhammadu Buhari that his party has evidence of vote buying and other malpractices which it can tender at the appropriate time.
He said the PDP would make sure the APC does not go unpunished for its action.
But he admitted that the conduct of the election was generally fair except for alleged vote buying and delay in the commencement of voting in Garo ward in Marshi local government area
He particularly hailed the large turnout of voters.
He said: “the election was free and fair except for vote buying by the APC. We have evidence to prove as reported by our party agents in almost all the wards”
But his allegation was dismissed by a chieftain of the APC and former commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Musa Adamu as the cry of a defeated man.
At the close of voting yesterday, APC had 206 votes in the Sarkin Yara polling booth of President Buhari.
The PDP had only one vote in the area.
Collation of results in respect of all the bye elections was still in progress at press time.