INTERIM REPORT OF THE POLICE SERVICE COMMISSION (PSC) ON THE MONITORING OF POLICE CONDUCT DURING THE GUBERNATORIAL ELECTIONS IN SOKOTO STATE HELD ON 18TH FEBRUARY, 2012
The Police Service Commission (PSC) monitored the conduct of Police Officers during the Sokoto State Gubernatorial election held on 18th February, 2012 in pursuance of its constitutional responsibility to hold the police accountable for its actions.
PREPARATION FOR THE ELECTION
The Police Service Commission had earlier issued guidelines on the conduct of police officers during elections in Nigeria. The guidelines include among other things the need for police officers on duty during elections to always be on alert, approachable, professional, impartial and wear name and number tags.
The Commission also liaised with the Police authorities on the need for proper policing of the elections. Similarly, we circulated four telephone numbers that complaints can be given to the Commission about the conduct of police officers during the elections. The commission met with the State Police Command and got contacts of police officers supervising the elections.
ELECTION DAY MONITORING
The Police Service Commission monitoring team was made up of four officers led by Dr. Otive Igbuzor, Commissioner and Chairman of Strategy Committee of the Commission. The team visited six local government areas:
1.Â Â Sokoto South: Sheikh Abubakar Gummi memorial college 1 and 2, Barth road, P & T 1 and 2,Â in Rijiyar Dorowa ward; Garkar Sarikin tasha 2, Rijiyar Dorowa ward, Kofar Atiku Kwamberu 1 in Sarkin Adar ward, G/B Dankwoli in Sakin Adar ward.
2.Â Â Sokoto North: Sarkin Musulmi, Gidan Sarkin Muslimi ward, Shiyyar Abdullahi Mega in M/Rafi ward
3.Â Â Kware LGA: Ruggar Giwa Primary School 1 and 2, Gidan Modibbo Akwara ward
4.Â Â Wurno LGA: Makaranta 1 and 2; Kanwuri 1 and 2 in Achida ward
5.Â Â Dange Shuni LGA: Dambuwa 1 and 2 in Tuntube Tishe ward
6.Â Â Wamako LGA: Kware road A, Government day Secondary School all in Arkilla
OBSERVATIONS ON SECURITY AND POLICE CONDUCT
1.Â Â We observed that there was security presence in most of the places visited by the team especially Police and Civil Defence. Out of all the places we visited, only one polling unit was without police which was rectified within fifteen minutes of our report.
2.Â Â The elections went on peacefully in all the areas visited. Both election officials and security officers arrived in most of the polling units on time.
3.Â Â About 10,000 Police Officers were deployed for the elections. There was huge improvement in deployment of police officers and punctuality of security officers to polling units.
4.Â Â The police officers on election duty in the Sokoto gubernatorial elections conducted themselves very well. There was at least one police officer in most of the polling units visited.
5.Â Â The police officers were generally courteous, approachable and co-operative with their name tags and numbers displayed on their uniforms.
6.Â Â The police officers on election duty were not carrying arms except the Police Mobile Force units and other back up units who were roving throughout the state.
7.Â Â We received four phone calls and two text messages during the election. One of the phone calls from Tudun Doki in Gwadabawa LGA was request for security which was provided within ten minutes.
The Police Service Commission commends the Police officers that participated in the Sokoto State gubernatorial election for their professional conduct.
We commend INEC and Police authorities for the improvement in logistics arrangement for the elections. In particular, we commend the Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner of Police for prompt response to calls for more security.
Dr. Otive Igbuzor
Hon. Commissioner/Chair, Strategy Committee
Issued on 18th February, 2012.