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Rivers Rerun: INEC report indicts police, others



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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released a damning report on the December 10, 2016 Rivers State rerun indicating the Nigerian Police Force and other security organizations.

The police compromised the integrity of the election, an INEC administrative inquiry has revealed.

The report cites obstructive involvement of security agencies as one of the factors that led to the failure of the electoral process in some local government areas.

Part of the 37-page report reads: “One of the low points of the Rivers’ rerun of the 10th December, 2016 was the flagrant intervention of security operatives in the process.

“This was widely identified by staff of the Commission and independent observers alike as one of the major factors that led to the failure of the process in some local government areas.

“There were too many security agencies involved in the process outside the framework of the Interagency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES). It was not clear whether many of them were acting as part of their various organisations, or as groups and individuals serving political interests.

“Most importantly, many of them showed profound political partisanship. Ironically then, security operatives, who were expected to protect the process, turned on it.”

The INEC committee report described as strange the conduct of senior police officers deployed in the state to ensure a peaceful conduct of the rerun.

It said: “But most mid-boggling were cases of hostage taking, hijack of materials and physical attacks on INEC officials by security operatives.”

The five-man committee, chaired by INEC’s National Comissioner Prof Okechukwu Ibeanu, named in its report a particular police officer, who it said tried to lure INEC officials away from their duty posts.

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