Latest information about the on-going investigation into the Rivers State election re-run reveals that the Nigerian police has allegedly recovered the sum of N111 million from 23 INEC officials. The money was allegedly used by River state’s governor, Nyesom Wike to bribe officials of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
According to SaharaReporters who shared the eye-popping photos of the recovered money on Twitter, the stacks of bundles of Naira notes were gotten back by investigative committee of the Nigeria police from INEC officials arrested after the Rivers election re-run.
Remember that the Special Investigation Panel of the Nigerian police had arrested 26 INEC officials who served in the December 2016 Rivers state National/State Legislative election re-run to be interrogated for their roles in the election exercise.
The panel Chairman, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Damian Okoro, disclosed the recovery of the said sum while presenting the team’s report to the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, in Abuja on Tuesday, February 7th.
According to him, Gov. Nyesom Wike dished out N360 million to INEC officials out of which three senior electoral officers collected N20 million each while the remaining officers received N15 million each.
Okoro went on to claim that there were some cases of misconduct on the part of some electoral officials, who were compromised in the line of duty. He said:
“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 further stated that the task given to the panel was challenging considering the fact that there the political and security atmosphere in the state was tense. Continuing, the chairman revealed that lawless elements aimed at the political opponents of their sponsors as well as law enforcement agents, particularly the police.
The Deputy Police Commissioner said some of the violent acts were caused by the inciting statements by some narrow-minded politicians saying “apart from their utterances, politicians in their desperation for power, also armed thugs who unleashed terror on their opponents”.
In addition, Okoro revealed that six police officers, who were indicted by the investigation, had been tried and dismissed from the police force.
On his own part, Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, the Inspector-General of Police while speaking said that the report would be sent forward to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice for his counsel.
PHOTONEWS: the Nigerian police investigation committee on Rivers rerun displayed over N100m recovered from INEC officials given by Gov Wike pic.twitter.com/OMJGML3cL0
He said ‘we are going to take appropriate action in conjunction with other security agencies to put an end to this problem’ while urging Nigerians to confidence in the security agencies and accept the panel’s report as true.
Mr. Idris alleged that despite a visit by the panel to Port Harcourt, Wike refused to cooperate with the team. According to him, the investigation would go a long way toward putting an end to electoral malpractices in Nigeria.
“We will be failing in this country if we allow this to continue.”
Furthermore, the police IG said that the recovered money would be paid into government’s account.
Meanwhile, Wike on Monday, January 30, approached the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court for an order to stay the probe. In the ex-parte motion by his counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome( SAN ), Wike prayed the court to “restrain the defendants or their agents from enforcing or executing matters contained in a letter the IGP wrote to Wike on December 20, 2016, n the probe”.