The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has called on African lawyers to help revive democracy in Nigeria, saying the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has used the police to destroy its foundation.
The governor also accused the police of promoting crime in Nigeria, saying, “most of the kidnapping in the country are done by the police.”
But the police promptly responded by describing the governor’s statement as deceitful.
“Everybody knows the antics of Governor Wike,” police spokesperson Jimoh Moshood told PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday.
“You people should disregard such statements. The Nigeria Police are not promoting any crime. In fact, we are fighting crime with all the resources at our disposal”.
“I want people to disregard such statement we have made a lot of progress in terms of fighting crime and criminality.”.
According to a press statement by the state government, Mr. Wike alleged that the APC was already laying the structures to rig the 2019 general elections through the promotion of indicted police officers.
He made the allegations at a state banquet he gave members of the African Bar Association at Government House, Port Harcourt on Monday night.
Mr. Wike said the police promoted Akin Fakorede, the Rivers State Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) commander, whom he alleged was filmed at a collation centre rigging election and beating up electoral officials.
He said the police also promoted an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Steven Hasso, “for his criminal role in the rigging of rerun elections on December 10, 2016.
“They promised Nigerians change, but we are seeing nothing. The former President of Tanzania by his visit has done us much good by his presence in Nigeria. Through him, we will send a message to the world.
“Democracy in Nigeria is gone. By 2019, nobody should talk about democracy. One Mr Akin Fakorede who was caught on video rigging election has been promoted. Stephen Hasso who was also a culprit in the rigging of elections has been promoted. Both of them are to be positioned in Rivers State for 2019 to help the APC rig elections.”
But the police also dismissed the allegation concerning the promotions.
Mr. Moshood said the promotion of senior police officers is done by the Police Service Commission.
“I am not aware of any promotion like that,” he said.
“Promotion is not done by the IGP of the Nigeria Police Force, it is done by the Police Service Commission. And to the best of my ability the commission has not released any list of promoted officers. Anything that has to do with promotion, the commission is in charge.”
Speaking further, Mr. Wike claimed the APC has made it a policy to intimidate and destroy the judiciary.
He claimed that the situation has degenerated to the level that police had taken over the duty of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC by allegedly certifying election results for APC to use at tribunals.
The governor said that the police under the present dispensation has become a major stumbling block to the investment drive of the country as they deliberately generate insecurity.
“The police is the one promoting crime in Nigeria. Most of the kidnapping in the country are done by the police. We cannot continue like this, enough is enough.”
Efforts by our reporter to reach the APC spokesperson, Bolaji Abdullahi, were unsuccessful as his phone was switched off at the time of filling this story.
In his remark at the banquet, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Onueze Okocha said Rivers is a peaceful state and always ready for investors.