The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, yesterday got engaged in war of words over the report of the Nigerian Police Joint Probe Panel that investigated the violence that greeted the December 10, 2016 legis rerun election in the state.
The panel, headed by a deputy commissioner of Police, Damian Okoro, said that it recovered about N111 million from 23 officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), who were allegedly bribed by Governor Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike.
While the APC wondered why Wike will always be involved in needless controversies and accusations of trying to corrupt federal institutions, the PDP described the report of the panel as laughable and a dangerous threat to Nigeria’s nascent democracy.
Addressing newsmen at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, yesterday, deputy leader of APC in the state, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, said the outcome of Police investigation linking Wike bribery of INEC officials during the re-run election is one too many for a governor that has been linked to everything but good.
He listed several other instances to include alleged bribery of former Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Rivers State, Dame Gesila Khan; attempts to induce some high-ranking judicial officers, compromise of security officers, amongst others.
Peterside, who was the APC governorship candidate in the 2015 election in the state, expressed regrets that the governor is rubbishing the hard earned reputation of Rivers people who are known to be “industrious, responsible, decent and dignified.”
But, in a swift reaction, chairman of PDP in the state, said the people of the state were not surprised to hear such report and never expected anything to the contrary, stressing that the report of the Police panel had been concluded before the panel was even inaugurated.
Obuah, in a statement signed by his media aide, Jerry Needam, further said that the intent of the panel ab-initio was to divert attention from all the atrocities, inhumanities and all manner of professional misconducts committed by the APC and the security agencies against the Rivers people during the re-run election.