Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, yesterday said the police would engage the services of foreign forensic experts and its crack crime detectives, to probe the killings of DSP Mohammed Alkali, Sergeant Peter Uchi and several others killed during the last Rivers State re-run parliamentary poll.
The experts expected any moment in the country, Idris, said would be mandated to conduct forensic analysis on the voice, audios and recorded tapes purported to be the voice of Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, as was released in an audio report by Saharareporters during the election.
The police boss, made the disclosure when the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmud Yakub, paid him a condolence visit on the death of the two police officers during the election. To avoid compromising the outcome of the probe panel which according to him, would be inaugurated today, he said the 14-member panel would be made up of ICT specialists, crime detectives, foreign forensic and voice experts.
He said: “Already, we are getting support from CSOs, experts from outside the country who feel committed that Nigeria should have peaceful elections.
“They are offering support in audio analysis of some these audios that have become viral on on Facebook and very soon they will be in the country to assist us on some of these audio recordings.”
He vowed that the police would unravel the killers of the two police officers beheaded and several others killed during the election.
He said: “This will ensure that we get to the bottom of this election violence and by the grace of God, Rivers’ election will be the last state that we are going to have this kind of experience.
“And it will never happen again as I have constituted a 14 man panel to investigate and these are officers with different skills to look into all these allegation and at the end we shall have a detailed outcome of the investigation which we shall share with Nigerians.”
The IG, while admitting the successes recorded during the Edo, Ondo, Imo and Kano elections, said the police need the cooperation of politicians, government officials and the electorate to conduct a peaceful election, adding that the police has the responsibility to ensure a successful election in the country.
“If the people in charge of governance, political parties and citizens are not ready to cooperate, we as law enforcers have a responsibility to ensure that election where ever it is held in this country must be peaceful, fair and free.” he said.
While regretting the killings of his officers, he stressed: “As you observed, we lost two of our officers on the day of the election. They were kidnapped, beheaded and bodies buried in shallow graves.”
Idris, also informed that four of the suspects involved have been arrested and arms recovered, adding: “As you are aware, we have set up an investigative panel to look into these issues, so far we have arrested four suspects and we have recovered some weapons and the investigation is still ongoing because we are expanding the scope of the investigation.”
“The vehicle in which they used in the kidnap had been recovered, the bodies of the DSP and his driver had been recovered, unfortunately from the information that we get from the suspects, their heads were dropped inside the water.”
While condemning the killings in the elections, he said Police officers found culpable by the panel will be brought to book, adding that officers are expected to abide by its code of conduct during elections and emergencies.
In a remark, Yakub, expressed regret on the deaths of the Police officers in the course of the election, adding, we have come to condole you and the entire Nigeria Police Force for the lost of your gallant officers in the course of the Rivers rerun elections through national service.
“I would like on behalf of the commission to condole the NPF on this sad loss and
as we speak a national commissioner from the headquarters joined our resident commissioner in Minna and his adhoc staff to condole the families of the DSP and his driver.
“I will to assure you that in the case of the others who lost their lives soon we shall participate fully in their burial ceremonies.” he said.
While commending the Police for their role in the Edo and Ondo elections, he said no election can be successful without the Police, stressing, INEC is happy with the role that you have been playing as the lead agency for elections in the country.