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Why Is Governor Wike Stopping The Police From Investigating The Killings During Rivers Rerun Elections?

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The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to dismiss a suit seeking to stop police investigation into various acts of criminality perpetrated during the December 10, 2016 rerun in the state.

The suit was filed by Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike.

Deji Morakinyo, lawyer to the IGP said the suit was an attempt by Wike to cover his tracks.

He said the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, set up by Wike, had no power to investigate the crimes committed during the rerun polls in Rivers State.

He said crimes committed during rerun polls in Rivers State were federal offences.

He stated, “Even though a combined team of the Army, police and other security personnel were on the ground during the election, criminal elements committed many crimes and unleashed violence on unarmed voters and electoral officers.

“Two policemen were beheaded by a criminal gang. Based on complaints received from several members of the public, coupled with the crimes committed in the presence of security personnel, the 1st defendant (IGP) decided to set up a special investigation panel of the police, headed by the 3rd defendant, to investigate the killings and other electoral offences which occurred during the rerun election.

“The 1st and 3rd defendants have made progress in the investigation being conducted into the crimes. Among the several arrests of the criminal suspects made is that of the fellow, who stole the telephone (handset) of the beheaded Deputy Superintendent of Police.

“The bodies of the beheaded policemen have also been recovered while the tape of the telephone conversation between Governors Wike and Ayodele Fayose (of Ekiti State) on the rerun election is being analysed.

“The policemen, who accompanied the 2nd plaintiff (Wike) when he stormed polling units and the collation centre, have been identified, investigated and dismissed by the Police Service Commission, while the 1st defendant has ordered that they be tried for contravening the provisions of the Electoral Act when they illegally accompanied the 2nd plaintiff to polling units and collation centre.’’

He added, “In a desperate move to cover up the grave crimes perpetrated during the rerun election and shield him from investigation, the 2nd plaintiff is praying this honourable court to stop the 1st and 3rd defendants from carrying out their statutory duty of investigating the crimes on the grounds that he had set up a judicial commission of inquiry.

“Based on the questions for determination and the relief sought by the plaintiffs, the defendants have challenged the jurisdiction of this honourable court to hear and determine this case.”

The judge adjourned further hearing till February 10.

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