By Eseoghene Emuke
The Police in Delta State have arraigned Akpevwe, a younger brother to the serving member representing Udu Constituency in Delta State House of Assembly and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the March 9, 2019 election, (Chief) Peter Okagbare Uviejitobor for alleged possession of firearms.
Akpevwe was arraigned alongside two others identified as Alfred Joseph and David Ukiri all from Udu Local Government Area of the state for the same offence.
The three suspects were arraigned before a Chief Magistrate Court in Asaba, the state capital, on Wednesday.
They were allegedly caught with firearms last week by police detectives at the Asaba branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) where INEC had kept sensitive electoral materials for onward distribution to the various LGAs in the state.
The suspects, who claimed to be members of the Udu Vigilante Group, were said to have been detailed by the local government chairman to ensure safety of electoral materials for the council before their arrest.
A statement confirming their arraignment on Wednesday by the State Police Public Relations Officer, Chuks Oresewezie, said the police decision to arraign the suspects was to serve as deterrent vigilante members diving into security and electoral matters in the state.
The command had in an earlier statement banned vigilante members from meddling into political activities, warning that anyone caught would be arrested and prosecuted.
According to the statement, “The three suspects were today arraigned at Chief Magistrate Court Asaba to serve as a deterrent to who would be offenders and as well as to inform members of the public that the sole responsibility of securing INEC materials, INEC offices/officials, polling units, collation centers, racks rest squarely on the Police in collaboration with other approved security agencies as mentioned in the earlier press release.
“The Police authority will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute any offender according to the law, while assuring members of the public of its commitment to the security and safety”, the police in the statement added.
It was, however, not clear if the suspects were granted bail by the court on their arraignment on Wednesday.