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Protest in Lafia Turns Violent as Police Clash with Residents Over Supreme Court Judgment



Tensions escalated in Lafia, Nasarawa State, on Friday when clashes erupted between residents and operatives of the Nigeria Police Force during a protest. The protest was in response to the recent Supreme Court judgment affirming the election of Governor Abdullahi Sule. The Nasarawa State Police Command, deployed to disperse the demonstrators, reportedly resorted to firing shots, resulting in casualties among the protesters. While witnesses claim that two individuals died in the hospital, the exact number of casualties remains unverified.

The protest, which saw residents taking to the streets of Lafia, included road blockades, burning of tires, and anti-government chants. The contentious Supreme Court decision, delivered by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, upheld Governor Abdullahi Sule’s election, dismissing the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, David Ombugadu. As a response to the perceived miscarriage of justice, residents expressed their dissatisfaction through street demonstrations, leading to the closure of shops, business centers, and schools to ensure the safety of lives and property.

One concerned individual, Tonye Barcanista, shared photographs on social media, decrying the situation as a “judicial heist” and attributing it to the deterioration of judicial reforms initiated in previous administrations. Barcanista particularly lamented electoral fraud allegations in the 2023 elections in Nasarawa and Ogun States, both of which, according to him, were legitimized by the Supreme Court. The incident raises concerns about the broader implications of electoral disputes and the need for comprehensive reforms in the electoral and judicial systems to ensure transparency and fairness.

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