Investigative panel recovers N111m from 23 INEC officials
Claims shameful, says Rivers government
The panel that investigated the electoral and other offences perpetrated during the December 10 Rivers parliamentary re-run election, has alleged that it recovered N111 million from 23 INEC officials.
The Chairman of the panel, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Damian Okoro, made the allegation while presenting the team’s report to the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, in Abuja yesterday.
He alleged that three senior electoral officers collected N20 million each out of the N360 million given to them by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers, while the remaining officers received N15 million each.
Okoro further alleged that there were some cases of misconduct on the part of some electoral officers, who were compromised in the line of duty. “By this investigation, this panel has diligently unraveled what went wrong with the re-run election in Rivers. We discovered that failure of leadership and followership rather than law enforcement was responsible for the political upheaval in the state,” he said.
The chairman, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that lawless elements targeted political opponents of their sponsors, and law enforcement agents, especially the police.
The Inspector-General of police said that the report and recommendation would be forwarded to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice for his advice.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Commissioner of Information and Communications, Dr. Austin Tams-George has described the allegation that Governor Nyesom Wike bribed officials of INEC as shameful, defamatory, politically motivated and reckless.
He said that never in the annals of infamy has anyone seen a vital state security institution descend to the lowest depths of blackmail and criminality, as the Nigeria police force has done in this case.
He explained that barely a month ago, the state government alerted the world of the dark plot by the Nigeria police to implicate Wike in a phoney bribe scandal. And now, the police appears to be acting with shocking predictability, by making wild and completely groundless allegations against Wike.
“The Rivers State government challenges the Nigeria Police to show proof that Governor Wike financially induced any official of INEC.”
Also, the governor’s media aide, Simeon Nwakaudu, said the police high command was trying to divert attention from its loss of credibility, the report is another fictional account by a police force that has lost its moral base as it is intent on reinventing itself through falsehood.