The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State has accused an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Musa Kimo, of threatening to punish police officers who do not comply with an alleged directive to help President Muhammadu Buhari win Saturday’s election.
Mr Kimo, a former commissioner of police in Akwa Ibom, is the AIG in charge of zone 6. Akwa Ibom police command operates under the zone.
“Two days ago, intelligence reaching us is that policemen of varying ranks were invited to Georgetown hotel beside Tropicana Event Centre and told by the AIG (Mr Kimo) to show sympathy to the government in power at the centre,” the PDP spokesperson in the state, Iniobong Ememobong, told reporters on Friday afternoon.
“We learnt that they were threatened with delayed promotion and ‘punitive’ postings if they failed to cooperate, while the pliant officers and men are to be favoured in preferential postings and accelerated promotion,” Mr Ememobong said.
Mr Ememobong accused the police in the state of being partisan.
“In Akwa Ibom state, some security chiefs are clearly partisan, remaining only to have their name in the party’s register. They do not hide their partisanship, in fact, they wear it as a replacement for their official beret,” he said.
The PDP spokesperson said besides Mr Kimo, two other police officers in the state, ‘one Brown’, who is a chief superintendent of police, and ‘one Idorenyin Akpabio’, a superintendent of police, “have displayed unbridled partisanship with the APC in Akwa Ibom state.”
The police officer, Mr Akpabio, is said to be a relative of ex-governor Godswill Akpabio, who is running for a second term as senator.
“It will be recalled that under the commissionership of Kimo, he posted out officers who were professional in their duty in preference for officers who had sympathy for the APC. He deployed Godswill Akpabio’s cousin, Idorenyin Akpabio to man the Anti-Robbery Squad of the police Command and shielded CSP Brown from transfer and queries.
“His decision to permanently and immovably relocate to Akwa Ibom state for the election is most worrisome and can only be a pointer to his avowed commitment to use his offices to curry illegal favours for the APC.
“To this end, having reviewed the situation, the party is hereby alerting foreign and local observers, the Police service commission, INEC and the entire global community to the ignoble roles that the trio of Kimo, Brown and Akpabio have assigned to themselves in the forthcoming elections. They are acting in concert with Senator Godswill Akpabio who now has the details of police deployment, not available to other candidates, even the chief security officer of the state,” Mr Ememobong said.
“We want everyone to hold the trio responsible if there is any crisis or violence before, during or after the elections (especially the Governorship election) in Akwa Ibom state,” he added.
The AIG, Mr Kimo, dismissed the allegation as “complete falsehood” when PREMIUM TIMES contacted him.
“I have never visited that hotel you have mentioned, I don’t even know where it is located, and have never heard of it before.
“How can I hold a meeting with police officers in a hotel when there is a police command in the state?” Mr Kimo said.
The AIG said he personally sent out a signal to police officers, instructing them to remain non-partisan and professional in their election duties.
“I have a good name to protect. I can never be involved in tarnishing my good name because of elections. People who sit down to manufacture this kind of lies should know that there’s a tomorrow,” he said.
The police spokesperson in the state, Odiko MacDon, did not respond to calls and text message from PREMIUM TIMES.