Law and Order

Four held in Nigeria over stolen election machines

LAGOS — Nigerian police said Saturday they had arrested four suspects over the theft of data machines for the registration of voters for next year’s general elections in Africa’s most populous country.

“Four suspects were arrested between Thursday and Friday in the Akowonjo area of Lagos and they will appear in court soon,” a senior police officer told AFP.

He said the suspects had provided useful information that might lead to the arrest of other suspects in the theft of the machines at the cargo terminal of Lagos airport on Tuesday.

The direct data capture machines were ordered by the Independent National Electoral Commission to register voters for the April poll.

The commission said a consignment of 20 machines was stolen, out of a total of 6,000 that was imported into the country.

It said 16 of the machines had been recovered.

Nigeria’s lower house of parliament has ordered security agencies to investigate the theft.

A two-week voter registration begins January 15, while presidential elections are set for April 9, a week after legislative polls on April 2 in a country with a history of electoral violence and fraud.

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