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Breaking News: 2019: US, UK to revoke Akpabio’s visa over electoral violence

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  • FBI, MI6 declare Ex Gov “Person of Interest”
  • Family members to face repatriation if…

 

iReporters News.

 

The United States and United Kingdom governments have warned against electoral violence in the forthcoming 2019 general elections, threatening to revoke visa of any Nigerian politician that sponsors or instigates violence before, during and after the polls.


Both countries have also threatened to punish anyone found guilty of rigging the elections.

Diplomatic sources told our reporter that former Akwa Ibom state governor, Godswill Akpabio have been declared “Person of Interest” by both countries following his infamous “Warsaw shall see war” threat. A joint tactical command unit has been created at the US embassy in Abuja to coordinate intelligence gathering, data collection and evaluation. The United States team are drawn from the US Army, FBI, CIA, State Department and officials of the Department of Homeland Security while their United Kingdom counterparts are selected from the UK Secret Intelligence outfit, the MI6, the Home Secretary’s Office and UK House Intelligence Committee.

“The defense attaché’s of both the US and UK embassies have placed Senator Akpabio under surveillance. His children who are currently schooling in the United Kingdom are under close watch. The intelligence agencies of both countries are collaborating on a joint intelligence sharing on Akpabio’s threat to instigate violence during the March 2, 2019 Akwa Ibom state governorship election and if his conduct at the polls is deemed to have caused any security breach, the Immigration department have already been put on notice to repatriate his children back to Nigeria”, said a security source at the US Embassy in Abuja who pleaded anonymity.

Apart from Akpabio, investigation indicates some APC chieftains are also under close security watch and their activities also closely monitored including their families that reside abroad. Unconfirmed reports suggest the movement of Akpabio’s children may be restricted in the UK as a preemptive measure by the London Metropolitan Police.

In separate statements issued on Thursday by the Embassy of the United States and the British High Commission in Abuja, the two countries pledged their commitment to ensuring free and fair elections in the country, saying the 2019 elections “is important not only for Nigeria, but for the African continent.”

The release which was made public through the communications unit of the U.S. embassy, the two countries commended the political parties for signing the peace accord and urged the candidates to conduct themselves within the laws governing the elections.

The U.S. statement reads in part; “The United States government does not support any specific candidate or party in Nigeria’s upcoming elections. The United States supports the Nigerian democratic process itself. We support a genuinely free, fair, transparent, and peaceful electoral process.

“We, and other democratic nations, will be paying close attention to actions of individuals who interfere in the democratic process or instigate violence against the civilian population before, during, or after the elections. We will not hesitate to consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for those found to be responsible for election-related violence or undermining the democratic process. Under U.S. immigration law, certain violations may also lead to restrictions on family members.”

On her part, the United Kingdom promised continued support for Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) towards making the electoral process credible and peaceful.

The statement reads in part; “We continue to provide significant support to Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission and to Nigerian civil society to help them deliver credible elections. We also regularly engage with actors across the political spectrum to encourage them to respect electoral rules and maintain an atmosphere of peace and calm. We will be deploying an extensive observation mission for the forthcoming elections, including coordinating with the EU’s Election Observation Mission.

“Our monitors will in particular be looking out for any attempts to encourage or use violence to influence the elections, including on social media. We would like to remind all Nigerians that where the UK is aware of such attempts, this may have consequences for individuals. These could include their eligibility to travel to the UK, their ability to access UK based funds or lead to prosecution under international law.”

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