Rivers State governor, Mr Nyesom Wike has said that the state government had written to the International Criminal Court to prosecute the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sarhem for crimes against humanity.
Wike said instead of running in circles, the GOC should explain to Nigerians the reasons why the 6 Division stormed Collation Centres in Ikwerre, Emohua and Okrika Local Government Areas of the state with Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Electoral Officers, accusing him of stealing electoral materials and concocting results.
The governor stated that the GOC 6 Division has the blood of Rivers people on his hands, stating that issuing false statements will not save the GOC from prosecution.
Speaking during a media briefing in response to the allegations by the 6 Division that he tried to compromise soldiers of the 6 Division, Governor Wike described the allegation as false, malicious and diversionary .
He said: “We are doing a petition to the International Criminal Court. We are demanding justice for all those killed in the election by the army.
“We will also send a petition to all the major embassies in the country on the atrocities committed against Rivers people by the GOC and his soldiers. We have also sent a petition to the Chief of Army Staff on the criminal actions of the GOC.”
Wike said he had credible intelligence that the GOC had concluded plans to open fire on his convoy, with the objective of causing a deadly shoot-out.
“Nigerians watched in utter dismay as three Local Government Electoral Officers of INEC indicted soldiers of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army for orchestrating electoral violence, snatching election materials and criminally colluding with All Progressives Congress, APC, leaders to concoct results during the Presidential and National Assembly elections. Rather than respond to these allegations, the GOC is making diversionary allegations.
“These weighty indictments of the officers and men of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army by the INEC Officials confirm earlier intelligence that the GOC of the 6 Division is neck deep in the crisis in Rivers and manipulation of the elections. Mrs Mary Imawuya, INEC Electoral Officer of Ikwerre LGA, INEC Electoral Officer for Emohua LGA, Kenneth Etah and INEC Electoral Officer of Okrika LGA, Mr Leo Okon who addressed the Rivers East Senatorial District Collation Centre at Elekahia were unequivocal in their indictments of the soldiers and their criminal activities during the elections.
“The major problem they should defend is the INEC Officers who declared that the soldiers of the Nigerian Army abducted them, carted away materials and concocted results.”
Governor Wike denied ever making an attempt to compromise the electoral process .
He denied ever offering money to the soldiers to act illegally.
He noted that when the soldiers arrested the Rivers State Commissioner of Urban Development and Physical Planning, Dr Reason Onya for being among the approved PDP agents to escort materials, the commissioner called him.
He noted that he requested to speak with the Officer to demand the release of Onya who was on legal electoral function for the PDP.
He said the officer who declined talking called back later and he informed him that Onya was on a legal assignment.
He noted that no bribe was offered.
Wike said in his capacity as governor, he spoke with about 10 different officers when PDP official agents raised concerns.
The governor said that the mischievous press briefing by the 6 Division was tantamount to a coup against a constituted authority.
“The Army cannot be a judge in their matter. You cannot parade officials on legal Electoral duties. You cannot change the narrative. They have violated all known laws.”