- Governor Wike's leaked audio tape seems to be putting the Rivers number one citizen in the spotlight again
- The IGP has ordered a thorough investigation into the allegations that the governor rigged the election in the state
- The panel constituted will be waiting to submit their reports soon
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state may have courted trouble following a resolve by the Nigeria police to investigate allegations of election malpractice.
The governor was recently caught on tape in a discussion with an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on how payment for election rigging would be made.
According to Sahara Reporters who released the tape, Governor Wike made payment to INEC officials especially those sent from Plateau state to rig the election for candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Etche, Khana, Ikwerre and other key local government areas in the state.
In a press briefing issued by DCP Don N. Awunah, the police public relations officer, obtained by NAIJ.com, the Inspector General (IG) of police, Ibrahim K. Idris has set up an investigation team to look into the matter.
The briefing stated that the police has "in response to the statement credited to the INEC chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmud to the effect that there were seventy incidents that tended to derail the 10th December, 2016 re-run elections in Rivers State has set up a team of detectives and experts to conduct a thorough investigation into the incidents mentioned by the INEC chairman with a view to unravelling those who directly or indirectly are responsible for such incidences and bring them to justice.
"The investigative team is also mandated to conduct forensic analysis on the audio report released by Sahara Reporters purportedly to be the voice of the Executive Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency Chief (Barr.) Nyesom Wike (CON) pertaining to the concluded elections.
"The Government of Rivers State and INEC are enjoined to avail the investigative team with facts at their disposal and grant them the desired cooperation and assistance to achieve a comprehensive and conclusive investigation. The election observers, civil society groups, Human Rights watchers and other stakeholders are equally called upon to assist the team with valuable information they may have.
"The Nigeria Police Force is committed to enthroning the principles of democratic policing and ensures that the IGPs master plan on election security takes hold in Nigeria in accordance with international best practices and core value of Policing with integrity.
"The investigative team is headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police who has vast experience in investigation. The team has 30 days to complete the investigation and submit report. The findings will be made public."
Meanwhile, an investigation by Sahara Reporters has unmasked the identities of collaborators who played a role in leaked intercepted telephone calls that revealed Governor Wike discussing the rigging of recent legislative elections in the state by officials of INEC who had collected bribes from him.
According to the report, the first person to come on the telephone call to Governor Wike was Dumnamene Dekor, a former Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly. During the rerun election that took place two Saturdays ago, Mr Dekor ran as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to represent Khana/Gokhana Federal constituency in the House of Representatives. However, he lost to a candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).