Rivers Re-run Election: N11m Bribe Money Recovered from INEC Officials
A total sum of N111m was reacovered from 23 Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials, who were involved! in the Rivers State legislative rerun election on December 10, 2016..
The panel constituted to investigate the electoral and other offences during the re-run election revealed this on Tuesday.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), had on December 22, 2016, constituted a 15-man special joint investigation panel to investigate electoral and other offences in respect of the re-run election in the state.
The Chairman of the panel, Damian Okoro, made the revelation while presenting the team’s report to the IGP, Ibrahim Idris, in Abuja .
He said the investigative panel recovered the money from 23 suspects allegedly bribed to rig the polls.
He alleged that three senior electoral officers collected N20m each out of the N360m given to them by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers, while the remaining officers received N15m each.
Wike has denied any wrongdoing despite an audio showing he may have compromised some INEC officials financially. The Rivers Governor also accused the police of bias and refused to cooperate or allow state officials cooperate with the police investigation team.
He had gone to a Federal High Court in Abuja to stop the panel from investigating the rerun election.
However, Chairman of the panel, DSP Okoro, further alleged that there were some cases of misconduct on the part of some electoral officers, who were compromised in the line of duty.
“By this investigation, this panel has diligently unravelled what went wrong with the re-run election in Rivers, the details of which are contained in the report.
“We discovered that failure of leadership and followership rather than law enforcement was responsible for the political upheaval in the state,” he said.
He attributed some of the violent acts to inflammatory statements by some narrow-minded politicians.
“Apart from their utterances, politicians in their desperation for power, also armed thugs who unleashed terror on their opponents,” he said.
He said that six police officers, who were indicted, had been tried and dismissed from the force.
Responding, Idris said that a report and recommendation would be forwarded to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice for his advice.
He said appropriate action would be taken against indicted persons to serve as deterrent.
“We are going to take appropriate action in conjunction with other security agencies to put an end to this problem,” he said.
He said that the money recovered would be paid into government coffers.