The Kogi State Police Command, yesterday, confirmed an attack on the Secretary of the State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, Mr. David Mike, by gunmen.
A statement in Lokoja by police spokesperson, Williams Ovye-Aya, said the secretary was attacked along two other persons on Monday.
Copies of petitions and personal belongings, official receipts, processes like subpoena, and official stamps, were reportedly taken away by the assailants.
According to the police, “on Monday, December 4, at about 1820hrs, Mr David Mike (M), Secretary to Kogi governorship election petition tribunal, along with Labode Apreala (F), Confidential Secretary and Hassimu Adamu, Assistant Secretary, came to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Kogi State Police Headquarters and reported that they were attacked by gunmen.
“On the date (Dec. 4), 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, but 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 (attackers) surrounded and blocked him as he attempted to reverse.
“That he (Mike), 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 documents, including petitions filed by four parties.
“The names of the parties are Action Alliance (AA), Action People’s Party (APP), Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), and Social Democratic Party (SDP).”
The items also included two record books and a bag containing his personal items.
He claimed to have also reported to the DSS Office, Ovye-Aya said.
He said the Police Commissioner, Bethrand Onuoha, had ordered for a thorough and diligent investigation into the incident.
He explained that the statement on the attack became imperative following series of distorted information on the incident.
“The command, hereby, advises the general public to avoid making statements that might prejudice the ongoing investigation into the matter.
“The command also appeals to anyone with useful information on the alleged incident to provide same to the Command,” Ovye-Aya said.
The APC had earlier said the SDP should be investigated over the alleged attack to save the nation’s democracy.
Director of Media and Publicity, APC Governorship Campaign Council, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, made the call in Lokoja on Tuesday.
But, the Kogi SDP, through its Counsel, J.S. Okutepa (SAN), also raised the alarm over the attack and accused the APC of using hired thugs in Lokoja.
Meanwhile, the Kogi State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Lokoja has been moved to Abuja by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem.
A statement by the tribunal’s secretary, Mr. David Umar Mike, said its sittings would now be at the National Judicial Institute on Umar Yar’Adua Way and urged litigants to take note of the change in venue.
Although the statement was silent on the reason behind the relocation, a top source at the tribunal said the step followed several attacks on the tribunal staff in Lokoja.
“Generally, thugs are frustrating the job and the lives of our officials are at stake, making it difficult to work there,” the source said.