INEC threatens sanctions for electoral offences in Rivers rerun
Buhari swears in new commissioners, charges them on fairness
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it would not hesitate to bring the full force of the law on any person that commits electoral offences during this Saturday’s rerun election into state and National Assemblies in Rivers State.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said at a stakeholders’ meeting in Port Harcourt yesterday, that the attempt to conduct the rerun in March was thwarted by widespread violence and attack on voters.
The situation, he said, led to the unfortunate death of its ad hoc staff, a corps member, Dumebi Okonta.The INEC chairman, who was represented by the National Commissioner (South-South), Dr. Mohammed Mustafa Lecky, condemned provocative and dangerous comments by some political actors. He said these comments could incite people to violence and derail a peaceful poll.
The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi said President Muhammadu Buhari has assured of security of lives and property in the state before, during and after the election. In another development, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO) Don Awunah said yesterday that Rivers State Governor Wike’s Chief Security Officer (CSO) was withdrawn and redeployed because he “displayed action unbecoming of a police officer, amounting to professional misconduct.”
Awunah said the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has ordered an investigation to unearth the level of involvement of the police officer in partisan politics.
Awunah said the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in Charge of Operations in the state sighted DSP Promise Nwosu among the APC faithful on 17th November, 2016 during a peaceful demonstrations.
“The CSO to the governor, when challenged by a superior officer demonstrated brazen indiscipline and showed disrespect to the senior officer, exhibiting conduct that violates all known norms of the force,” the FPRO said.
According to Awunah, “As a result of such gross misconduct and apparent partisanship, the IGP ordered the redeployment of the CSO pending further disciplinary action.”
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday swore in six new INEC commissioners charging them to be firm and fair in the discharge of their responsibilities.
The six commissioners were Ogunmola Ladipo, May Agbamuche, Abubakar Nahuche and Okechukwu Ibianu. Others are Mohammed Haruna and Ahmad Muazu.Speaking with State House correspondents after the event, Prof Yakubu declared that the commission would not succumb to the sundry false allegations and blackmail by political actors in Rivers state.