Six policemen have been paraded by the Police authorities for involvement in electoral malpractices during last month's parliamentary re-run elections in Rivers State.
The six officers are Inspector Eyong Victor (AP/No.177893 ), Sergeant Peter Ekpo ( F/No. 400872 ) Sergeant Oguni Goodluck (F/No.374585 ), Sergeant Orji Nwoke (F/No. 385870), Sergeant Okpe Ezekiel (F/No. 234216) and Sergeant Tanko Akor ( F/No. 437983).
The affected officers, according to statement signed by Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Don N. Awunah, were in the convoy of Rivers State governor, Mr. Neysom Wike, on the day of the election. The statement explained that the officers misused the firearms in their possession contrary to the provisions of Force Order 237.
"The service personnel became overzealous, took laws into their hands and opened fire, causing panic in the crowd. They joined in storming the Port Harcourt City Council Secretariat and prevented the movement of election results of Emouha polling unit to the appropriate collation centre designated by INEC, in flagrant disregard and disobedience to senior Police officers present at the venue," the statement added.
Following the conclusion of investigations into their misconduct, explained the Force spokesman, they were subjected to internal disciplinary measures, found guilty, consequently dismissed and will be prosecuted.
"They will be prosecuted under the Electoral Act to serve as a deterrent to others. Consequently, personnel of the Force who abuse their office, privileges and discretionary powers in the discharge of their official duties, will be brought to justice," Mr. Awunah stated.
The Force spokesperson also explained that the dismissed officers ignored strict warnings and instructions from the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim K. Idris, that all policemen on election duty should be of good conduct and desist from escorting their principals, notably public office holders and politicians to polling units throughout the period of the election.