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Foreigners held over electoral offences

By IWPR Nigeria






Four foreign nationals were among those arrested for electoral offences in Oyo state, southwest, Nigeria during the recent governorship elections.

The Oyo state command of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) claimed they violated the electoral law by seeking to participate in the elections.

The suspects, including two Ghanaians and two Beninoise, were arrested in Oyo and Ibadan towns while trying to vote.

The state's Comptroller of Immigration, Joseph Olaitan said the suspects should not have registered to vote as the Nigerian constitution excludes foreigners from participating in election.

The suspects however said they were persuaded to register for elections having lived in Nigeria for over 20 years.

The only female among the suspects said she felt she could vote having been married to a Nigerian for about 15 years.

But Olaitan explained that the foreigners did not follow the constitutional procedure of becoming a Nigerian citizen before attempting to participate in the elections.

Olaitan therefore said the foreigners would be taken to court for trial.