Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris
Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris

A band of young men accused of destroying election campaign billboards in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, are now singing before a Judge.

The Anti-crime patrol unit of the Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja Division, arrested and paraded six young men, namely, Olagokun Odunayo, Kool-kloud Henry, Ugaju Joseph, Damilola Omidiji, Michael Kate and Banwo Olagokun, for allegedly tearing posters of other political parties and replacing them with that of the African Action Congress (AAC), police spokesperson, Chike Oti, said in a statement sent to Pulse.

PDP governorship candidate in Lagos, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, decried the destruction of his campaign billboards on November 29.

A host of other political candidates and their supporters have also blamed opposing political camps for the destruction of their campaign billboards and posters around Lagos.

Contravening the law

Oti said the AAC youth who erected their campaign billboards after destroying those belonging to opposition parties, acted contrary to the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) laws that forbids advertisers from pasting posters at no other hour than during the day.

“Recall that an agreement was reached to the effect that no political party should undertake the defacing of campaign posters of other political parties nor the destruction of their billboards, at a meeting held at the Police Officers Mess, GRA, Ikeja, on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, tagged Security and Stakeholders meeting involving the INEC, Chairmen of all political parties in the state and their flag bearers, chaired by the State Commissioner of Police, CP Edgal Imohimi.

“The following exhibits were recovered from the suspects : a poster bearing the picture of the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, (AAC) Mr. Sowore, brush, buckets containing gums and torn off posters of other political parties", Oti said.

Oti added that the “Commissioner of Police has directed that the suspects be charged to court for malicious damage and conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace, in order to serve as a deterrent to others".

Ahead of the 2019 elections, Lagos, like most of Nigeria, has morphed into a mélange of campaign posters and billboards, as candidates hope to push their images and electability in the faces of prospective voters.

Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris
Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris