By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURT— Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, yesterday accused the Nigeria Police Special Joint Investigation Panel investigating the violence that characterised the December re-run elections in the state of having a predetermined agenda.
The governor spoke in Government House, Port Harcourt, when the panel, led by its Chairman, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Damian Okoro visited him.
Governor Wike accused the panel, constituted by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, of bias.
He alleged that the intention of the panel was to indict members of his Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, with trumped up charges, arguing that six policemen attached to him were recently dismissed by the IG without seeking his opinion on the allegations levelled against them.
The governor also claimed that the police were shielding their men involved in electoral fraud during the election from investigation, saying, “I must tell you with all honesty that my people and I will not participate in the sitting of this panel. We have challenged the setting up of this panel in court. Let there be a judicial pronouncement on the matter. It will enrich our jurisprudence. This panel has not shown us that it will not be biased. All these activities are orchestrated so that APC will use the materials at the tribunal.”
Governor Wike said it was unfortunate that a police officer allegedly caught on camera compromising during the elections was the one assembling witnesses for the Police to appear before the panel, saying “The same officer who was caught on video after he invaded the Rivers East senatorial district is the one who is arranging witnesses for the panel set up by the Inspector-General of Police.”
Chairman of the panel, DCP Okoro said they were in the state to meet with the governor for his view on what happened during and after the elections, noting that it would also ascertain the role of security men during the elections.