All the 21 policemen in the escort unit of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State have been arrested and whisked away to the force headquarters, Abuja, allegedly on the orders of Abubakar Idris, Inspector General of Police (IGP).
The affected officers were alleged to have shot sporadically into the air on December 11 at a collation centre for the Rivers East Senatorial District during the re-run legislative election.
But a dependable police source revealed that the underlining reason behind the arrest was their refusal to immediately proceed on transfer shortly before the last re-run election in which the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won two out of the three senatorial districts.
According to the source, the transfer of the 21-man team of the governor’s escort was planned to psychologically weaken and destabilise Wike during the re-run poll.
“It was part of several other moves to prepare grounds for the rigging of the election by the APC”, the source noted.
The escort commander was alleged to have been issued a query for the alleged gunshots which he had since responded to, he said, noting that “this was a case of taking a cockroach to the court of a rooster”.
In his response to the query, the escort commander was said to have denied the allegation of sporadic shooting leveled against his unit, citing several orders and protocols which forbid governor’s escort from releasing fire except on extreme situation which was not the case in reference.
Rivers State government had severally accused men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) led by CSP Akin Fakorode. It had alleged that the squad connived with officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rig the election for the APC in Rivers East Senatorial District.
When contacted, Nnamdi Omoni, the Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), denied any knowledge of such development.
“I am not aware. To the best of my knowledge I am not aware of such thing yet”, he said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
However, Wike has reaffirmed that the violence that marred the re-run elections in the state was orchestrated by security agencies with a motive to make the state ungovernable for politically motivated reasons.
The governor also announced that the police high command had arrested all his personal police details who accompanied him to stop SARS Commander Akin Fakorede from rigging Rivers East Senatorial District.
He said all the policemen have been detained in Abuja by the police high command.
The governor addressed members of the Rivers State Traditional Rulers Council who paid him Christmas visit on Tuesday.
He said that the police high command is insisting that the policemen shouldn’t have accompanied him to stop Fakorede.
Governor Wike explained that he was compelled to take action because the previous day policemen and soldiers were used by the APC at Ikwerre LGA to beat up PDP agents and force collation officers to concoct results.
“The security agencies orchestrated plans to cause violence with a view to making the state ungovernable for ulterior motives.
“As I speak with you, all my personal police details who accompanied me to stop Fakorede from successfully rigging the Rivers East Senatorial District election have been arrested and detained in Abuja.”
The governor drew the attention of Nigerians to the fact that Rivers State has been peaceful since the conclusion of the re-run elections.
He said: “Look at how peaceful Rivers State has become after the elections. Why was the election violent? It is because they wanted particular candidates to win and they wanted to rig in favour of such candidates.
“I was called to share seats. I said I will not participate in such a fraud. I insisted that the votes must count. Let everyone go for elections.”
The governor berated INEC for conniving with APC to print fake result sheets ahead of the elections, noting that INEC and the police have swept the matter under the carpet.
He informed that many INEC staff who were victims of violence by security agencies are under pressure from the electoral commission to deny the physical assault on them