By Sadiq Umar, Abuja.
A non governmental organization, Nigeria Against Corruption has come hard on the governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike following reports that he allegedly smuggled billions of naira into the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, venue of the ongoing election tribunal to “settle” judges involved in the case.
National coordinator of the group, Nigeria Against Corruption(NACG), Mr. Tayo Olusola, in a release sent to African Examiner lamented why Chief Wike and his cronies are yet to be apprehended by the appropriate authorities.
“It is sad and mind boggling that all these anomalies are ongoing under this administration, and that was due largely to the fact that all the authorities in charge of the airport were those appointed by the last administration, so, that explains why the Wike and corrupt people were
able to fly such huge amount of money into Abuja, and transported into town without being stopped by the police or other law enforcement authorities”, he stated.
On Monday July 6th, a news medium had reported that billions of naira had been smuggled into Abuja by the Wike camp to buy any judge and intimidate them with money in order for Wike to emerge victorious in the elections tribunal.
The story however took a new dimension after the picture of the aircraft containing the money and the container truck loading the money surfaced in the media. One of the pictures showed the back of the container containing multiple bags loaded with raw naira in billions. Rumor
immediately went round town that Chief Wike had allegedly arrived Abuja with billions of naira trying to win the tribunal judges to his side.
“I think the appropriate authorities have to investigate the issue and inform the public,” Mr. Olusola stated.
The Ahmed Joda-led Transition Committee had last week recommended to president Muhammadu Buhari to move quickly and prosecute election fraudsters like Chief Wike.
The committee said election fraud offenders should be swiftly sanctioned as part of immediate steps to reform Nigeria’s electoral process.
In its report on “Governance”, submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari, the committee recommended a six-item good governance initiative, to include Electoral reform, Public Service reform, Police Service reform, Judicial reform, Military reform and Constitutional amendment.
It also stressed the need for electoral reform, the report stated that, “Election is the cornerstone of any democracy. The recent elections in Nigeria showed the strength and weakness of the institutions, necessitating the need to reform”.
While lamenting the presence of corrupt officials in Independent National Electoral Commission, and pervasive electoral fraud, the committee recommended that those involved in electoral fraud during the last elections be prosecuted, as one of the quick wins to strengthen
In some states, especially in the South South States of Akwa Ibom and Rivers, there were overwhelming cases of electoral fraud as noted by local and international observers.
In Rivers, for instance, the Independent National Electoral Commission allocated the eventual winner of the governorship election there, Nyesom Wike, votes almost five times higher than the authentic number of voters accredited with card readers and Permanent Voter Cards.
It was reported that while there were 292, 878, voters, Mr. Wike, who is now the governor of the state, scored 1,029,102 votes, representing 87.77 per cent of 1,228,614, being the conjured number of total accredited voters. The result was announced by the Returning Officer for
Rivers State, Osasere Orumwense, on April 13.