Rivers Rerun: FG plans to fly in forensic experts to analyse Wike’s leaked phone call

The Nigeria police is set to fly into the country some foreign experts requested to do a forensic analysis of the leaked audio of Governor Nyesom Wike’s alleged phone calls during the legislative rerun election in Rivers State.

The forensic experts were invited by the police as part of investigation into the alleged rigging of the election and the alleged threat to the lives of some electoral officers during the poll.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, explained on Wednesday that the foreign analysts would soon be in the country to assist with the on-going investigation into the violence that rocked the poll during which two police officers, DSP Mohammed Alkali and his driver, Sgt. Peter Uchi, were beheaded and their heads thrown into a river.

The development coincided with the convocation of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry by Governor Wike himself to investigate causes of electoral violence in the state, particularly during the last rerun and come up with recommendations on how to make such incident history in the state.

But the Inspector General of Police (IGP)on Wednesday assured Wednesday that government was mot taking the issue of the probe lightly.

Two officers of the Nigeria Police Force were murdered in the most barbaric manner with their heads cut off and thrown into the river.

Speaking when the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, paid him a visit at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, the IG stated that the experts would offer support in audio analysis of the leaked recordings during the election.

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He noted that the two police officers were killed because they answered the call of duty and vowed that the Force would leave no stone unturned to ensure that those indicted for the murder were sufficiently punished.

The IG affirmed that the election violence in Rivers State would be the last that would be witnessed in the country.

He said, “A panel will be inaugurated tomorrow (today) that consists of specialists and professionals that will look into ending electoral violence in the country.

“We are also getting support from CSOs (civil society organisations) from outside the country who feel committed that it is time for Nigeria to have peaceful elections. They are offering support in audio analysis of some audio recordings that have been viral on Facebook and very soon they will be in the country to assist us with some of these audio recordings.

“All these are steps taken to ensure that we get to the bottom of this election violence and by the grace of God, Rivers will be the last state that we are going to have this kind of experience, it will never happen again.”

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The IGP stated that the four suspects arrested in connection with the election violence had given useful information to the police about the murder of the police officers.

Idris said, “We lost two of our officers on the day of the election. They were kidnapped, their heads were severed from their bodies and their bodies were buried in shallow graves. The vehicle in which they were kidnapped has been recovered.

“We have recovered their bodies, but unfortunately, the information we got from suspects arrested revealed that after severing their heads from their bodies, their heads were thrown into the river.

“These people were killed not because of any personal issue but because they answered the call of duty to serve in the election that took place in Rivers and it is very sad that their lives had to end like this.”

The police boss emphasised the roles of political leaders in the conduct of peaceful elections, noting that irresponsible leaders often fanned the embers of discord.

The IGP further observed that for elections to be successful in any state, the support of the government and party members in the state was paramount.

“The incident in Rivers shows that for us to have a peaceful election apart from agencies that are the major stakeholders, we need the support of the government and the people in the area where the elections are conducted. If the people in charge of governance, political parties and citizens are not ready to cooperate, then it will be difficult to conduct a peaceful and smooth process,” he stressed.

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Also speaking, the INEC boss said the commission would be involved in the burial arrangements of the policemen that died during the election.

He said, “We condole with you and the entire Nigeria Police Force over the loss of your gallant officers in the course of the Rivers rerun elections through national service. It is with heavy heart that we wish to condole with you and the family of the DSP and the sergeant that lost their lives in Rivers State.

“People often fail to realise that securing the environment for Nigerians comes with great risks and people pay with their lives to protect the environment to enable us to conduct a free and fair election.”

He also acknowledged that the electoral umpire could not conduct a successful election without the police.

“We feel diminished each time a member of the security agency loses his life on account of election and I must state that we cannot conduct a successful election without the NPF,” Yakubu stated.