The Rivers State government has denied that Governor Nyesom Wike allegedly spent N360 million to bribe Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, staff during the December 10 re-run legislative election.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the panel constituted to investigate the electoral and other offences perpetrated during the re-run election alleged that it recovered N111 million from 23 INEC officials.
Chairman of the panel, Damian Okoro, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, made the allegation while presenting the team’s report to the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, in Abuja on Tuesday.
He alleged that three senior electoral officers collected N20 million each out of the N360 million given to them by Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers, while the remaining officers received N15 million each.
In response, the Special Assistant to the Rivers Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, said the allegation was false and politically motivated.
Nwakaudu said in a statement in Port Harcourt that the police allegation was aimed at diverting attention from the real issues about the election.
“The statement (by the police) is patently false, politically motivated and cooked by the police to justify the violence they visited in the people of Rivers state during the re-run” he said.
According to him, Governor Wike did not spend N360 million to rig the re-run election.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike did not spend N360 million to rig the re-run legislative elections of December 10, 2016.
“The people of Rivers State overwhelmingly voted the PDP across the state because of the outstanding performance of Governor Wike since May 29, 2015,” Nwakaudu said.
The Inspector General of Police had setup a team of detectives and experts to conduct a thorough investigation into the incidents mentioned by INEC in the Rivers state legislative re-run election.
The Rivers election held in December was marred by series of violence, snatching of ballot boxes and killings of civilians and security officials.