The police have explained the arrest of some individuals with electoral materials and Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) machines three days after Nigeria elections.
Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, a Chief Superintendent, issued a statement on the trending news Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday, a WhatsApp message “forwarded many times” seen by Bellnewsonline.com claimed the police “swooped on a residential building” at No. 15, Ganges Street, Maitama in Abuja.
The information said the operation followed a tip-off “from unidentified sources” that the location was being used as a base to manipulate election results.
“Police recovered numerous BVAS machines and several laptops and desktop computers, as well as other technology materials.
“Also, several suspects were arrested. Police have launched a manhhunt for several other suspects involved in the matter,” it reads.
A circulating video shows the hands of two men opening packages containing the machines.
Nigerians are reacting angrily, wondering why their faces were not shown. Some dismissed the video as a plot to shift attention from the controversial presidential results.
In the clarification, Adejobi said operatives of the Force Investigation Bureau (FIB), acting on a tip-off from residents, visited the location, interviewed the occupants, and conducted a search.
While searching the residence, some electoral materials and BVAS machines were discovered in their possession, the spokesperson noted.
The Force PRO said the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, confirmed the persons “are staff of Emperor Technology, outsourcing engineering services to the INEC”.
The police announced they have been released, urging the public to discountenance “the false and misconstrued narrative” about their arrest and link with BVAS manipulation.
The statement further cautioned against the creation and spread of misinformation and disinformation that are capable of causing disaffection among Nigerians.