Police dismiss, to prosecute six over Rivers re-run
The Nigeria Police Force has arrested six suspected policemen for professional misconduct during the parliamentary re-run elections in Rivers on December 10, last year.The suspects, who have been dismissed from the Force, are Inspector Eyong Victor; Sergeants Peter Ekpo, Ogun I. Goodluck, Orji Nwoke, Okpe Ezekiel and Tanko Akor.
In a related development, the Police have denied reports that its personnel raided a residence belonging to the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience.
He said the Police got a search warrant duly endorsed by a competent court of law to assist federal government’s assets recovery agents.He explained that when the officers, who were just supporting the agents, demanded to speak with the owner of the house, someone who claimed to be a former First Lady said the house belonged to her.
Force spokesman, Don Awunah, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), disclosed this while presenting the suspects to newsmen in Abuja yesterday.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted him as saying: “In the course of discreet investigations into the above misconduct, the personnel were found to have in total disrespect to orders and directives, compromised and engaged in unprofessional acts.”
He said the suspects, who were subjected to internal disciplinary measures, were found guilty and dismissed from the Force.Awunah added that the suspects, who he said took the law into their hands and opened fire, causing panic in the crowd, would be prosecuted under the Electoral Act to serve as deterrent to other police personnel.
The force spokesman said the suspects, in the convoy of Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike, on the Election Day, misused firearms, contrary to Force Order 237, by joining in “storming the Port Harcourt City Council secretariat and prevented the movement of election results in Emouha polling unit to the appropriate collation centre.”
He said the suspects violated the warnings and instructions from the Police High Command that officers on duty should desist from escorting their principals (public officers and politicians) on election days.
Awunah said the Inspector General of Police had instituted comprehensive measures to ensure compliance with strict rules of professional behaviours for officers and men.But when the dismissed officers were to be ushered out in handcuffs, they protested loudly, questioning their offence and protesting their “hasty dismissal without fair hearing.”
This caught the attention of other Police officers, as the dismissed officers shouted on top of their voices, leaving Awunah and his Deputy, Jimoh Momoh, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) in utter shock.
On the raided houses in Abuja, Awunah said the two houses were not habited, as cobwebs were all over the place, adding that the two security safes in the four duplexes were inspected in the presence of a lawyer, who represented the owner.
He said other items found in the duplexes were two new bulletproof vehicles, insisting that no items were taken from the houses.He said the search was witnessed by two security officers guarding the premises- Akomoye Jeremiah and Energy Emmanuel.