Wonders and surprises as a total sum of 111 Million Naira was recovered from 23 corrupt Inec officials as bribe amassed during the Rivers state rerun election concluded last year. The Police panel constituted with the permission to investigate possible electoral and other related offenses that must have been carried out during the December 10 Rivers Parliamentary re-run election revealed this claim later on Tuesday. The report, coming with a taped audio recording, also revealed that this money was given out by Gov. Nyesom Wike to the officials.
The Chairman of the panel, D.S.P Damian Okoro, made the allegation while presenting the team’s report to the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, in Abuja on Yesterday. According to his report, three senior electoral officers are guilty of collecting N20 million each out of the N360 million given to them by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers as the remaining officers were left to share N15 million each.
Despite the audio proof, the Governor has however denied any involvement. In a statement given by the special assistant to the Governor in Port Harcourt, Mr. Simeon Nwakaudu has disclaimed the allegation saying it is ‘false and politically motivated’. He also said that the allegation is only a calculated step aimed at diverting the attention of the public from real issues about the election.
“The statement (by the police) is patently false, politically motivated and cooked by the police to justify the violence they visited in the people of Rivers state during the re-run.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike did not spend N360 million to rig the re-run legislative elections of December 10, 2016.
“The people of Rivers State overwhelmingly voted the PDP across the state because of the outstanding performance of Governor Wike since May 29, 2015.” Nwakaudu said.
Rivers state Governor also accused the police of bias and refused to cooperate or allow state officials cooperate with the police investigation team.
According to the Deputy commissioner of Police, Mr. Okoro, the investigation dogged down well enough to come up with the reports.
“By this investigation, this panel has diligently unraveled what went wrong with the re-run election in Rivers, the details of which are contained in the report.
“We discovered that failure of leadership and followership rather than law enforcement was responsible for the political upheaval in the state,” he said.
“We are going to take appropriate action in conjunction with other security agencies to put an end to this problem,’’ he said.
He also urged Nigerians to have confidence in the security agencies and believe the panel report.
It will be recalled that the I.G on December 22, 2016, constituted a 15-man special joint investigation panel to investigate electoral and other offenses in respect to the Dec. 10, 2016 parliamentary re-run election in Rivers. The election was marred with some unfortunate incidents and violence. Thus a thorough investigation was necessitated.