Lawmakers allege plot to subvert Rivers’ polls tribunal
SIXTEEN Rivers State federal lawmakers have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently restrain personnel of the Nigerian Army, Department of State Security (DSS) and the Police from meddling in the ongoing election tribunal in Rivers State.
Specifically, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers, who alleged “criminal partisanship and compromise,” yesterday accused security agents of conniving to corruptly subvert the ongoing tribunal in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Therefore, they sought the intervention of President Buhari to halt the process and call the authorities of the concerned agencies to order.
In a petition, the Rivers State caucus in the National Assembly noted that the APC’s desperation in the state would not only paint the present administration and its institutions in bad light but would also jeopardise any progress made and ridicule government’s sincerity in establishing due process and the rule of law.
The petition read: “We hereby, for ourselves and the entire people of Rivers State, draw Your Excellency’s attention to the surreptitious acts of the All Progressives Congress, Rivers State chapter, in connivance with the State Security Service (SSS) and the Nigeria Army to criminally perjure and corruptly subvert the course of justice, using the might of their offices.
“Kindly recall our earlier petition to you dated July 23, 2015 against the Director, SSS, who arrested and detained several staff of INEC based on a pre-arranged petition by the governorship candidate of the APC, who is a petitioner before the election petition tribunal.
“It took the intervention of the Senate to make the SSS realise that it was acting ‘ultra vires’ its powers under the National Security Agencies Act Cap. N74. It admitted and indeed, under the enabling statute, has no business interfering in electoral matters, particularly when there is a pending litigation.
“Your Excellency, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, we bring above actions of your officers to your notice and pray that you caution the Director of SSS, the Chief of Army Staff and indeed all other security agencies to desist from meddling in the electoral process, which presently is before the tribunals.
“Our institutions, particularly security institutions, should not only be incorruptible and apolitical but should be seen to be so.”