Police Inaugurates 15-Man Investigative Panel On Rivers Rerun Elections

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The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, on Thursday in Abuja inaugurated the recently constituted joint investigative panel on the Dec. 10 legislative re-run elections in Rivers.

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The 15-man panel, headed by Damien Okoro, consists of officers of the police and the Department of State Services (DSS) with investigative, forensic and technical expertise.

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The panel which is to conduct its investigation in conjunction with a team from the DSS has the following terms of reference:

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  • Conduct a thorough investigation into the role of security agents before, during and after the election;
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  • Examine the role of any police officer or security agent whose actions or activities individually or collectively was detrimental to the good conduct of the elections;
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  • Conduct a forensic analysis on the audio report released by Sahara Reporters as it concerns the election.
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  • Examine any other matter that is relevant to the conduct of the elections, and make recommendations and implementation strategies to guide future elections.’’
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He also charged the panel to probe the violence that marred the exercise in which two police officers were gruesomely murdered.

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He noted that the 1999 Constitution and other relevant laws empowered the police to conduct investigations into criminal matters across the entire country.

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The Police boss gave the committee 30 days with effect from Dec. 17 to submit its findings.

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Mr. Idris said four suspects had so far been arrested in connection with the murder of two officers, while two rifles had been recovered.

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The IG said police was an apolitical organisation that must not get involved in politics, adding that its interest was to ensure hitch-free elections.

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He solicited the support and cooperation of all well-meaning Nigerians, especially INEC and the Rivers State Government, to enable the panel succeed in its assignment.

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Responding, Mr. Okoro thanked the I-G for the confidence reposed in the committee, adding that they will be guided by relevant extant laws in the discharge of the assignment.

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