CLAIM: Thugs linked to the governorship candidate of the the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Alhaji Muritala Ajaka, were arrested by a security task force in the state.
The Kogi State governorship election held on Saturday, November 11. Ripples Nigeria reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) canceled elections in 67 polling units in Ogori-Magongo local government area of the state over allegations of pre-filled election results sheets while accreditation and voting had not commenced in the polling units.
The leading candidates in the election were Usman Ododo of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Dino Melaye of the People’s Democratic Party, and SDP’s Alhaji Muritala Ajaka. Melaye and Ajaka, separately alleged that the electoral process had been manipulated by the APC.
Meanwhile, a post published by a blog, Akelicious.net on Sunday, claimed that a security Taskforce had arrested thugs linked to and sponsored by Ajaka in the state.
Part of the post read: “In a significant crackdown on criminal activities, the Nigerian Joint Security Task Force has successfully apprehended several individuals affiliated with Muritala Ajaka, a notable figure within the Social Democratic Party (SDP). This operation also led to the recovery of a substantial cache of ammunition.
“The raid, which took place in Kogi east, was part of a coordinated effort to dismantle criminal networks posing a threat to public safety. Sources close to the operation revealed that the arrested individuals are believed to be key members of a gang operating under the directives of Muritala Ajaka.”
The blogpost which was also published on other platforms like Nairaland, contained pictures said to be that of the arrested thugs and the arms recovered from them.
Ripples Nigeria subjected the images to a reverse image search and found that they are old pictures. The pictures were taken from a Press Statement published by the Nigerian Police Force on June 7, 2022.
According to the Press statement signed by the Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, the suspects were tagged ‘political thugs’ and were arrested in Keffi, Nasarawa State. This was during primary elections of political parties ahead of the 2023 general elections.
It should be noted that the primaries of APC and PDP in many states were characterized by violence.
The claim that thugs sponsored by SDP’s Ajaka were arrested by a security Taskforce is false. There is no such report from the Police and the pictures attached to the post are old.
By Oluwatobi Odeyinka
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