The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has constituted a panel of detectives to investigate crisis associated with the recent Rivers rerun elections.
A key aspect of the investigation would be a forensic examination of an audio clip containing threats allegedly made by Governor Nyesom Wike to kill electoral officials who failed to do his bidding after receiving bribes.
In the audio, first published by news website Sahara Reporters, Mr. Wike could be heard threatening to kill the officials if they did not do his bidding or return his money.
“They should return what they gave them or I will kill them,” the governor was heard telling a supposed aide whom he asked to warn the unnamed INEC officials from deployed from Plateau.
The governor’s office said the audio was manipulated.
A statement Saturday by police spokesperson, Don Awunah, said the police IG was responding to a statement credited to the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Yakubu Mahmud, to the effect that there were 70 incidents that tended to derail the election.
He said the IG “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 statement enjoined the government of Rivers State and INEC 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 statement said.
The investigative team is headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police who has “vast experience in investigation”, and the team has 30 days to complete the investigation and submit report that would be made public, Mr. Awunah said.