*Allegation is false, baseless— Rivers govt
By Soni Daniel, Kingsley Omonobi, Jimitota Onoyume & Ben Agande
Abuja—The Department of State Services, DSS, has accused the governor of Rivers State, Mr Nyesom Wike, of recruiting youths in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to create mayhem in the city that would lead to a break down of law and order.
In a statement in Abuja, yesterday, spokesperson of DSS, Tony Opuoyo, said the service had arrested some of the recruited youths while the ring leader, who, it said, was a personal aide of the President of the Senate, was on the run.
Also, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, has appointed Deputy Commissioner of Police, Damien Okoro, to lead a 15-man panel, set up to investigate the alleged audio recording of Governor Wike and other violence recorded during the December 10 re-run election.
Other members of the panel include intelligence, investigative and forensic experts from the Police and DSS.
The panel, which has begun operations, has 30 days to work and submit its findings.
The IG charged the panel to, among others, conduct a thorough investigation into the role of security agents before, during and after the election; examine the role of any police officer or security agent, whose actions or activities individually or collectively, affected the conduct of the election.
Other terms of reference include conducting a forensic analysis on the audio report by an online medium against Governor Wike as it concerns the election; examine any other matter that is relevant to the conduct of the elections and make recommendations to guide future elections.
Meanwhile, Rivers State Government has described the allegation by DSS against Wike as false, baseless and alarming.
A statement by the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Dr Austin Tam-George, said: “The DSS allegation is an irresponsible scaremongering by an agency that seems bent on a mission to blackmail the governor of Rivers State, and bring the state government into disrepute.
“Wike is a man of peace, and would never orchestrate disturbances in any part of the country. A few days ago, the Minister of Transportation, Mr Chibuike Amaechi and the All Progressives Congress, APC, sponsored street protests against Wike in Abuja, without any alarm by the DSS.
“Why is the DSS ringing its hypocritical alarm bells against Wike only now? Why has the DSS not yet provided evidence of the so-called billions of cash they alleged was taken away by Wike from the home of the High Court judge the agency invaded in Port Harcourt, some months ago?”
Meantime, the DSS statement, read: “We wish to inform the general public that we have uncovered a sinister plot by the Rivers State governor, Mr Wike, to disrupt machinery of governance in strategic Federal Government agencies by provoking a violent breach of peace in the FCT, Abuja, today (yesterday) and beyond, especially at this yuletide season.
“To achieve this, the governor had secured the services of one Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, a personal aide to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to mobilise some hoodlums to execute their plan.
“The aim of the plot is to cause mayhem, a complete breakdown of law and order and cast the security agencies and the Federal Government in bad light.”