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Monday, January 16, 2017

Rivers re-run: Governor Wike asks court to stop police probe

The Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, Monday, approached the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court for an order stopping further probe into violence that marred the December 10, 2016, legislative re-run election in the state. He applied for an interim order of injunction barring the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, from proceeding with planned investigation into complaints, petitions, allegations of crime and various acts of criminality during the poll.

 Aside the IGP, Wike, in the ex-parte motion he filed through his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, joined the State Security Services (SSS) and a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Damian Okoro, as defendants in the suit. Moving the motion before Justice Gabriel Kolawole on Monday, Ozehkome, SAN, prayed the court to issue an interim order of injunction restraining the defendants or their agents from enforcing or executing matters contained in a letter the IGP wrote to Wike on December 20, 2016, pertaining to the probe.
He told the court the IGP had in the said letter entitled, ‘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.
Wike Ozekhome insisted that action of the Police to constitute a panel to investigate crisis that trailed the rerun elections in Rivers state was illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and null and void. He said it would 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 Rivers State government. Wike, via a supporting affidavit he attached to the motion, told the court that it was security operatives, mainly the Police and the Army that orchestrated violence following their partisan stance during the poll. He said some untoward behaviour of security operatives deployed for the exercise were caught on tape and presented to Nigerians and the whole world by various reputable television stations.

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