For allegedly escorting Governor Nyesom Wike to polling units during December 10 rerun election in Rivers State, the Nigerian Police Force has sacked and arrested six of its officers.
The officers are now to face prosecution for electoral offences.
The victims, who were aides to Governor Wike, were accused by the force of breaching rules handed over by the High Command demanding that officers be of good behaviour and desist from escorting their principals, mainly the public office holders and politicians to polling units during the period of the election.
This was contained in a statement by the force Public Relations officer and deputy commissioner of police, Don Nwunah, who added that the blatant breaching of the rules by the sacked officers was unacceptable by all standards in the Police Force.
He said, “These acts, if not checked can be inimical to discipline and proper administration of the Force. Their actions are capable of bringing the entire Nigeria Police Force to disrepute and portray the Force in a very bad light as a lawless organisation not guided by the rule of law.”
The statement gave the names of the affected officers as, Inspector Eyong Victor, Sgt Peter Ekpo, Sgt Oguni Goodluck, Sgt. Orji Nwoke, Sgt. Okpe Ezekiel and Sgt. Tanko Akor.
“The Police personnel while in the convoy of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State Barrister Nyesom Wike on the date of election, December 10, 2016 misused the firearms in their possession contrary to the provisions of Force Order 237.
“The Service personnel became overzealous, took laws into their hands and opened fire, causing panic in the crowd. They joined in storming the Port Harcourt City Council Secretariat and prevented the movement of election results of Emouha polling unit to the appropriate collation centre designated by INEC, in flagrant disregard and disobedience to senior police officers present at the venue.
“The six police officers, after the conclusion of investigation into this public mischief, were subjected to internal disciplinary measures, found guilty and consequently dismissed from the Force. They will be prosecuted under the Electoral Act to serve as a deterrent to others”, Nwunah stated.
The police was accused by some independent election observers to have masterminded the mayhem that characterised the Rivers State rerun election including colluding with some politicians in the state in snatching of ballot boxes and aiding in rigging the elections in some parts of the state.
Governor Wike it was gathered had stormed a collation centre with his police aides and some of his supporters allegedly to stop the police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) staff from compromising the result of the election.
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