As part of investigations into the alleged rigging of the election and the alleged threat to the lives of some electoral officers during the poll, the Nigerian Police have invited some foreign specialists to assist with the forensic analysis of the leaked audio of Governor Nyesom Wike’s alleged phone calls.
The violence-ridden polls saw two police officers, DSP Mohammed Alkali and his driver, Sgt. Peter Uchi beheaded and their heads thrown into a river.
During a visit by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu to the Inspector General of Police, Idris Abubakar, the IG stated that the experts would offer support in audio analysis of some leaked recordings during the election.
Whilst stating that the Rivers rerun would be the last election violence case in Nigeria, he reaffirmed that the force would leave no stone unturned to ensure that those indicted for the murder were punished.
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.
“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 IG 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.
The INEC Chairman also commiserated with the Police Force. 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.
“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.