Amidst accusations of electoral fraud made by the Nigerian Army at a press briefing held in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has sworn to prosecute the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sarhem for crimes against humanity.
A statement released by the governor’s media aide, Simeon Nwakaudu, state’s that a letter had been addressed to the International Criminal Court to prosecute Major General Sarhem who alleged carried out a plot to open fire on his convoy, with the aim of initiating a deadly shoot-out.
Wike who described the allegations against him as false, added that allotting false statements and invading the Collation Centres in Ikwerre, Emohua and Okrika Local Government Areas with INEC Electoral Officers will not be pardoned and hinder the GOC from being prosecuted.
His statement reads:
“We are doing a petition to the International Criminal Court. We are demanding justice for all those killed by the GOC and his lieutenants. We will also send a petition to all the major embassies in the country on the atrocities committed against Rivers people by the GOC and his soldiers. We have already sent a petition to the Chief of Army Staff on the criminal actions of the GOC”
“Nigerians watched in utter dismay as three Local Government Electoral Officers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) indicted soldiers of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army for orchestrating electoral violence, snatching election materials and criminally colluding with APC leaders to concoct results during the Presidential and National Assembly elections. Rather than respond to these allegations, the GOC is making diversionary allegations.
“These weighty indictments of the officers and men of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army by the INEC Officials confirm earlier intelligence that the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 6 Division, Major General Jamil Sarham is neck deep in the killings of Rivers people and manipulation of the elections. Mrs Mary Efeture Imawuya INEC Electoral Officer of Ikwerre LGA, INEC Electoral Officer for Emohua Local Government Area, Kenneth Etah and INEC Electoral Officer of Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State, Mr Leo Okon who addressed the Rivers East Senatorial District Collation Centre at Elekahia were unequivocal in their indictments of the soldiers and their criminal activities during the elections
“The major problem they should defend is the INEC Officers who declared that the soldiers of the Nigerian Army abducted them, carted away materials and concocted results”, he added.
Governor Wike who denied attempts to illegally manipulate the electoral process by offering money to the Soldiers, added that the press briefing by the 6 Division was synonymous to a take-over against a constituted authority.
“The Army cannot be a judge in their matter. You cannot parade officials on legal Electoral duties. You cannot change the narrative. They have violated all known laws” he stressed.
By Todimu Ogunade…
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