Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Nigeria Police Force yesterday insisted that the 23 officers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the six police officers indicted by the investigative panel set up by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to unravel the malpractices that characterised the Rivers re-run election were compromised.
Reacting to INEC’s report which also indicted the police in the election, which was published yesterday, the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP, Jimoh Moshood, said the panel did a thorough job in their investigation.
He said police identified and had proactively taken action against the six police officers who were indicted by the investigative panel report to have compromised, engaged in serious misconduct, misused of fire arms, and for other conducts in violation of the electoral act and other enabling laws during the Rivers rerun election.
Moshood said: “They were arrested, investigated and subjected to internal disciplinary measures, after being found guilty were dismissed from the Force and paraded before the media on January 6, 2017 and are awaiting prosecution.
“Twenty-three INEC Electoral Officers and two administrative officials who were indicted by the panel were arrested, investigated and total sum of N111, 300,000 confessed to have been collected from the the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike was recovered from them.”
The statement further read: “Consequent on the conduct of the Rivers Rerun Election of 10th December, 2017, and the attendant irregularities and violence witnessed during the election, the Police acted promptly by the setting up and inauguration of a joint Investigative Panel, made up of senior police officers and Officers of Department of State Security Service (DSS) by the IG on the 22nd December, 2016.”
“They were to investigate all the misconducts, identified infractions, incidents of violence and other actions and inactions of Police personnel and INEC Officials, other security agencies and stakeholders who were deployed for the 10th December, 2016 Rivers rerun election.”
According to him, the investigation panel was further mandated to also investigate the prevalence of violent crimes, such as armed robbery, kidnapping, hijack of election materials and attacks on electorates, INEC members of staff, ad-hoc personnel and other stakeholders that were involved either directly or indirectly in the conduct of the election.
He said the joint investigation panel submitted its report to the Inspector General of Police on the 7th February, 2017.
While calling on other security agencies to carry out investigation on the election, he said: the six indicted Police officers were arrested, investigated and subjected to internal disciplinary measures, after being found guilty were dismissed from the Force.
“Other agencies whose personnel were also indicted by the Joint Investigation Panel are expected to do the same to their personnel indicted in the report without any further delay.”