A youth, Suleiman Abubakar was on Wednesday remanded in prison custody on the orders of a Lokoja Chief Magistrate Court, for allegedly attacking an INEC official and carting away a carton of permanent voters’ cards.
Abubakar, of Ijiho village, in Kogi-KK local government area, was charged with criminal conspiracy and thuggery, contrary to sections 97(1) of the Penal Code and Part II Section 12 (a, b, d and e) of Kogi State Kidnapping, Thuggery and other Related Offences (Prohibition) Law, 2010.
He was alleged to have committed the offence in the company of some other youths, now at large, at about 1 p.m. last Sunday, May 25, during the distribution of permanent voters’ cards at Ijiho LGEA primary school polling centre.
According to the Prosecuting Police Officer, Mr. Tuesday Ganagana, the youths had attacked the INEC official, Mr. Ohowhohen Gabriel while he was issuing the PVCs to registered voters, saying that their action was aimed at truncating the forth-coming General Elections.
Ganagana told the court that investigation into the case was still in progress and applied for another date for mention as he opposed admitting the accused to bail on the ground that the offence of thuggery was not ordinarily bailable.
The offence, he said, carries 20 years imprisonment upon conviction, adding that once granted bail, the accused would not turn up for his trial as he would rather jeopardize police investigation and recovery of the stolen cards.
In his ruling the Chief Magistrate, Mr. Levi Animoku said the allegation of thuggery as couched in the First Information Report (FIR) was a heinous one and common crime in and around political circles in the state.
Animoku said, though the accused was presumed innocent by virtue of the laws, the presumption of innocence was not absolute and consequently, ordered that the accused be remanded at Federal Prisons, Koton-Karfe.