Six police officers attached to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State have been dismissed by the Nigeria Police Force over alleged professional misconducts during legislative rerun elections that held in the state last year.
The cops who were dismissed on Friday, January 6 include Eyong Victor; and five sergeants, Peter Ekpo, Oguni Goodluck, Orji Nwoke, Tanko Akor and Okpe Ezekiel.
Parading the officers in Abuja, the police spokesman, Don Awunah, revealed that they misused firearms and deliberately obstructed the Independent National Electoral Commission while on the side of Mr. Wike during a collation exercise in the state capital.
Their action Mr. Awunah said, was opposed to the stipulation of Force Order 237 and strict warning given by the Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim.
“These aforementioned police personnel while in the convoy of the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, on the date of election on December 10, 2016 misused the firearms in their possession contrary to the provisions of Force Order 237.
“The personnel became overzealous, took laws into their hands and opened fire, causing panic in the crowd.
“They joined in storming the Port Harcourt City Council Secretariat and prevented the movement of election results of Emouha polling unit to the appropriate collation centre designated by INEC, in flagrant disregard and disobedience to senior police officers present at the venue.”
In addition, the spokesperson said that the officials, who were handcuffed as they were paraded, were eventually dismissed from the police force after subjecting them to internal disciplinary measures wherein they were found culpable.
“They will be prosecuted under the Electoral Act to serve as deterrent to others.
“Their actions are capable of bringing the entire Nigeria Police Force to disrepute and portray the Force in a very bad light as a lawless organisation not guided by the rule of law,” Mr. Awunah said.
The electoral exercise conducted on December 10, 2016, was marred by a lot of irregularities and widespread violence which left at least two police officers dead.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, INEC disclosed that a total number of 61 electoral offenders have been successfully prosecuted since 2015 with the cooperation of the police.