Nine persons including a military officer said to be on Absent Without Leave (AWOL) in the military were arrested by security operatives at a hotel in Benin City Wednesday night, after they claimed to be journalists in the state to cover the September 28 governorship election in the state.
It was learnt that the suspects who are currently in the custody of the Department of State Security (DSS) were arrested in a joint operation between the men of the Nigerian Army, DSS and the Police.
It was gathered that they were arrested after a tip off that the men who posed as journalists were in the state to perpetrate mayhem during the elections scheduled for Wednesday next week.
LEADERSHIP learnt that the military officer among them has been on the wanted list of the Army in the past one year for a yet to be ascertained offence. The officer was said to have been arrested with different types of Identification cards including military ID cards.
It was learnt that some politicians went to secure their bail claiming that they were journalists who were in the state for the coverage of the election, but it was learnt that security operatives are insisting they were not journalists since none of them has been able to receive any sympathy from the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) or provide any evidence that they were journalists.
The Director of Media of the National governorship campaign of the APC, Senator Domingo Obende, who reacted to the incident, said “this has further exposed PDP’s plot to unleash mayhem in this state ahead the election. We have been raising this alarm that the PDP never wanted election they only wants violence but they thought we were raising false alarm.
“We are happy that our security agents have been up and doing and we appeal to them to ensure that they mop up all the militants they brought into the state so we can have a hitch free election. We have said it severally, APC is ready for this election but they must not come and kill our people. PDP must not see this election as a do or die affair because if it’s losing, they have lost the election already. So they should not kill any body” he stated.