Chukwudi Akasike and Adelani Adepegba
The Police team, currently investigating some emerging issues during the rerun elections in Rivers State on December 10, will this week write telecommunication firms for the call data of Governor Nyesom Wike, The PUNCH has learnt.
Wike, in alleged telephone calls before the rerun polls in the state, instructed some electoral officials and other aides to rig the election.
An audio clip, alleged to be the recording of such conversation, has since been released, where a voice, said to belong to Wike, issued various directives, including a death threat.
It was gathered in Abuja that the investigation team, set up by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, would demand the details of Wike’s calls before, during and shortly after the election.
A senior police source said the detectives would carry out forensic analysis on the governor’s incoming and outgoing telephone calls, including the name of the callers, the numbers dialled, the time, date and duration of the calls, as well as SMS.
“Obtaining the CDR shouldn’t pose any difficulty to the investigators because the telecom firms have it on their exchange. ‘‘Forensic analysis of the audio tapes would be matched with the call logs, which will also assist in identifying the voice prints of the suspects,” a source said.
Further findings indicated that the leaked audio of the telephone calls would be matched against the governor’s voice print to determine if he was involved in the alleged communication, allegedly meant to rig the poll.
The voice print is a set of measurable characteristics of a human voice that uniquely identifies an individual.
The IG had, on Saturday, announced the setting up of a team of detectives to conduct forensic analysis on the audio of a telephone call, purportedly made by Wike in respect of the concluded rerun elections.
The team was also mandated to conduct a thorough investigation into a statement credited to the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Yakubu Mahmud, in which he said 70 infractions were committed during the December 10, 2016, rerun polls in Rivers State.
The IG said the team would unravel those who were directly or indirectly responsible for such incidents and bring them to justice.
The investigative team, which is headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, has 30 days to complete the investigation and submit its report, which the Force spokesman, Donald Awunah, said would be made public.
An online medium, SaharaReporters had posted an audio clip of telephone calls allegedly made by Wike, in which he allegedly instructed some electoral officials on how to rig the election.
In another audio, a voice was heard threatening to kill some electoral officials if they failed to carry out the directives for which they were bribed.
Meanwhile, Wike, however, said on Sunday that his administration and people of the state would not be a party to the police probe of the December 10 rerun elections, describing such investigation as phony.
The Rivers State governor, who spoke at a victory thanksgiving mass of the Peoples Democratic Party at Our Lady Chaplaincy of Catholic Institute of West Africa in Port Harcourt, said the probe into the rerun elections had a predetermined goal to indict the PDP and commence a politically-motivated prosecution of some members.
“The police cannot deliberately murder Rivers people in cold blood and turn around to investigate.
“We are not a party to their so-called panel. We have passed that stage and we cannot fall into the trap of a panel of inquiry. After killing our people, you want us to assist you to unravel what? It is the police that killed our people,” he added.
The governor wondered why the police would claim it wanted to investigate issues surrounding the Rivers rerun elections, claiming that the police were involved in the attempt to subvert the will of the people.
He accused the Police High Command of refusing to prosecute the APC chieftains allegedly caught on camera printing fake result sheets ahead of the elections.
Wike added that petitions to the Police High Command on the negative activities of an Assistant Commissioner of Police and a police commander in the state were disregarded.
The governor added, “If it is a country that believes in its image, so many people would have lost their jobs. They cannot ask themselves why 28,000 policemen, yet to be ascertained number of soldiers, police dogs and horses, gunboats and helicopters could not police ordinary legislative elections.
“It is because the police were the ones committing the fraud, violence and election-materials snatching. We are accusing the police of mass murder and they turn around to set up a panel of inquiry.
“After killing our people, you fraudulently set up a panel of inquiry. Up till now, they don’t know that we are far ahead. This panel is a mere booby trap to indict the PDP members. If they cared about lives, they wouldn’t do what they did.”
In his sermon, Reverend Monsignor Pius Kii said that the coalition of forces would never defeat Rivers State.
The thanksgiving service was attended by the PDP leaders, senators, House of Representatives members, House of Assembly members and local government caretaker committee chairmen. (Punchng.com)