Wike Wants Court to Halt IGP Probe of Rivers Re-run Elections

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has sought the order of a Federal High Court, Abuja to stop the Inspector General of Police’s probe into the various acts of violence and roles played by individuals in the December 10 legislative rerun in the state.
In the ex parte application, Wike wants the court to grant an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants “or their agents from enforcing or executing the matters contained in the letter written to Governor Wike by the the IGP on December 20, 2016.”
Through his counsel, Mike Ozekhome, Wike told the trial Judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole that the action of the police constituting a panel to investigate the crisis of the re-run in Rivers state was “illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void”.
He submitted that it would be in the interest of justice for the court to set aside the IGP’s letter and direct the police authority to await the outcome of the commission of inquiry set up by the governor on the issue.
A supporting affidavit deposed to by Harrison Obi, who is of Ozekhome’s law firm, maintained that security personnel, mainly the police and the Army, were the ones who orchestrated the violence that rocked the said rerun.
Obi stated that the actions of the security personnel were caught on video and presented to Nigerians and the whole world through various reputable television stations.
The affidavit added that Governor Wike, had after the crisis, set up a commission of inquiry to look into the immediate and remote causes of the evidence “with a view to avoiding similar occurrence in subsequent elections and punishing the perpetrators of the act.”
According to the affidavit, the commission of inquiry “was set up under the Commission of Inquiry Law, Cap 30, Laws of Rivers State, which only the governor as the chief security officer of the state is legally empowered to constitute.”
However, rather than grant the Governor’s application, Justice Kolawole ordered that the defendants be put on notice.
The Judge ordered in his ruling that the defendants, after being served with the court processes, should appear in court on January 30 to show cause on why the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs in their motion exparte should not be granted.
The two plaintiffs who filed the suit are the Office of the Governor of Rivers State (first plaintiff) and Wike in person (second plaintiff), while the defendants are the Inspector-General of Police, the State Security Services and a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Damian Okoro.
The IGP, Ibrahim Idris, had sent a letter dated December 20, 2016 to Governor Wike intimating of the probe panel.
The letter entitled, ‘Investigation into allegations of crimes committed during the last rerun elections in Rivers state’, was said to have, among others, requested the Governor “to furnish the police investigative team with all necessary information and exhibits that may assist the team in the investigation.”
The IGP had stated in the letter 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.”

Author: News Editor

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