Wike Sets Up Panel To Probe Killings And Violence During Rivers Elections


Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has inaugurated the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the killings and violence that occurred during the December 10 rerun elections in the state.

Inaugurating the commission on Thursday at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Governor Wike charged the commission to find out the number of those killed and those responsible for their deaths.

He also charged the Commission to ascertain the names of those killed.

The governor said it was not within the purview of the Commission to investigate how the elections were conducted.

He said: “This Judicial Commission of Inquiry is not to investigate how they conducted their elections. You are to investigate the murders that attended the elections.

“Those involved in the killings will face the full weight of the law. This government has the capacity to follow through,” he said.

He called on members of the commission to stand by the truth and be courageous in the discharge of their assignment.

Responding, Chairman of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, Justice Chinwendu Nwogu said the commission would discharge its assignment within the confines of the law.

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry has the following terms of reference:

▪Investigate the remote and immediate causes of the violence during the December 10, 2016 rerun/supplementary elections in Rivers State.

▪Identify the perpetrators of the various acts of violence and killings in the aforesaid election.

▪Identify the victims of the violence including those killed

▪Identify if property was damaged and the value of any such property

▪Determine if the violence was localised to specific areas within the state or was state-wide

▪Make appropriate recommendations concerning their findings or any other recommendations as the commission may consider appropriate in the circumstance.

Police and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, have also set up separate panels to investigate the conduct of the elections and the widespread irregularities that took place.

The police is also investigating a purported audio recording of Mr. Wike threatening electoral officials who received bribes but refused to cooperate.

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