Gov Wike Moves to Stop Police Investigation into Rivers Re-run - EazyFeeds

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Tuesday 17 January 2017

Gov Wike Moves to Stop Police Investigation into Rivers Re-run

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has moved to stop the Nigeria Police Force from further investigations into the conduct of the recent re-run elections in the state. He said the police was already biased on the matter, since the crisis dur­ing the poll was orchestrat­ed by the security agencies.
Accordingly, Gover­nor Wike has asked Jus­tice Kolawole of the Fed­eral High Court, Abuja, to stop the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, from investigating the com­plaints, allegations, petitions of crimes and various acts of criminality during the De­cember 10, 2016 re-run elec­tions in Rivers state.

In a motion exparte ar­gued on Monday through his counsel, Chief Mike Oze­khome (SAN), the gov­ernor urged the court for an order of interin injunc­tion restraining the IGP, the State Security Services (SSS) and a Deputy Com­missioner of Police, Dami­an Okoro, who are defend­ants in the motion, or their agents, from enforcing or ex­ecuting the matters contained in the letter written to Gov­ernor Wike by the the Police boss on December 20, 2016.
The IGP, in the said letter titled, “Investigation into alle­gations of crimes committed during the last rerun elections in Rivers State”, stated that the, “purview of the investigation will cover allegations of bribes taken, several brazen murder in­cidents (including that of serv­ing Police Officers), reports of gross human rights abuses, acts of sabotage/terrorism, kidnap­ping for ransom and ballot box snatching, all of which were per­petrated in connivance with sev­eral federal and state civil serv­ants as well as highly placed politicians within and outside the state”.
The letter also requested the governor to furnish the Police investigative team with all nec­essary information and exhibits that may assist the team in the investigation.
Ozekhome, while arguing the motion yesterday, told Jus­tice Kolawole that the action of the Police to constitute a pan­el to investigate the crisis that trailed the rerun elections in Rivers State was illegal, unlaw­ful, unconstitutional and null and void.
He said it will be in the inter­est of justice for the court to set aside the IGP’s letter to Gover­nor Wike and direct the Police boss to await the outcome of the commission of inquiry set up by the governor.
An affidavit in support of the motion exparte averred that security personnel, mainly the Police and the Army, orchestrat­ed the violence that rocked the just concluded rerun election in Rivers State.
Mr Harrison Obi, of Chief Mike Ozekhome’s chambers, who deposed to the affidavit, said the actions of the security personnel were caught on video and presented to Nigerians and the whole world by various rep­utable television stations.
He averred that after the election, Governor Wike set up a commission of inquiry to look into the immediate and remote causes of the crisis that trailed the conduct of the elections, with a view to avoiding similar occurrence in subsequent elec­tions and punishing the perpe­trators of the act.
The commission of inquiry, he said, was set up under the Commission of Inquiry Law, Cap 30, Laws of Rivers State, which only Governor Wike, as the Chief Security Officer of the state, is legally empowered to constitute.
Ozekhome told Justice Kolawole that the terms of ref­erence of the panel of investiga­tion set up by the Police clearly suggest that the goal of the in­tended investigation is already pre-determined and biased or likely to be biased against Wike, having regard to the numerous conclusions already reached in the said letter.
Ozekhome said the inten­tion of the Police is to produce a predetermined damning re­port against Wike through the medium of the Commission of Inquiry, adding that, “the de­fendants are working from the answer to the question with the predetermined objective of convicting the 2nd plaintiffs (Wike)”.
With conclusions already drawn and reached by the Po­lice, without hearing from Wike, he said the Police boss has already “convicted” the gover­nor unheard and is merely us­ing the alleged investigation as a smokescreen and rubber stamp to give credence to the gover­nor’s (2nd plaintiff) guilt.
He therefore urged the court to set aside the content of the letter by the IGP and direct that the Police should await the outcome of the committee of inquiry already set up by Wike.
In his ruling on the mo­tion exparte,Justice Kolawole said some constitutional issues regarding the powers of an ex­ecutive governor of a state were raised in the motion.
The Judge turned down Wike’s request seeking to set aside the letter of the IGP to Governor Wike and instead ordered the defendants, com­prising the IGP, the SSS and a deputy commissioner of Po­lice, Damian Okoro to ap­pear before him on January 30, 2017 to show cause why the relief sought by the plain­tiffs in their motion exparte should not be granted.

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