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Rights Of Nigerians Sacrosant – Wike: Hails FG’s Anti-Corruption, But… Insists Campaign Must Obey Rule Of Law (The Tide)


The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has picked holes in the way and manner law enforcement agencies have trampled on the fundamental rights of Nigerians in the name of fighting corruption.

He said the country on the verge of anarchy, if the government continues to encourage or allow law enforcement agencies the latitude to abuse the fundamental rights of the citizens under the guise of fighting corruption.

Wike made the observation while delivering a keynote address at the 2016 Annual General Meeting of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK, Nigeria yesterday in Port Harcourt.

The governor said: “We totally support our President’s fight against corruption. However, we are still a democracy and the rule of law is still supreme.

The state chief executive said though he supports the fight against corruption, it must be done within the confines of the rule of law.

He pinpointed the double standards in the fight against corruption in the country saying, “It smacks of double standards for the Federal Government to force some public officers accused of corruption to step aside pending the conclusion of their cases, while keeping other public officers similarly accused in their public posts simply because they happen to be top members of the ruling party.”

Insisting that: “We also think that the Federal Government must hold every public officer, and indeed, every one of us, to the same standards of accountability.

Wike reasoned that the resignation of Muiz Banire SAN, the former legal adviser of the All Peoples Congress from his public position on account of the allegations of bribery against him, has proven him to be a man who cherishes integrity more than anything else, as he called on the public officers serving in the APC Federal Government who have been smeared of corruption to step aside honourably and concentrate on clearing their names.

On the printing of fake election result sheets and other very sensitive materials by the Rivers APC at Number 12, Isiokpo Street, Wike said: “Instead of swiftly investigating and charging the suspects to court, the police high command has forcibly blocked the local police and ordered the matter transferred to the zonal office in Calabar, where it will be deliberately bungled and eventually consigned to the waste bin.

“Our worry is that the recurrent incidents of undue compromises in the election process by INEC and the security agencies generate social tensions, with attendant risk of erupting into physical resistance on election days and consequences for peace, safety and development.”

The governor used the occasion to outline the successes of his administration in the area of infrastructural development, civil service welfare, health, education, rural and urban development.

In her remarks, Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Adama Iyayi-Laminkara, noted that the judiciary takes cognisance of the importance of arbitration in the adjudication process.

Chairperson of the of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators UK Nigeria Branch, Mrs Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour, said the frontiers of alternative dispute resolution are expanding.

He said that arbitration was very relevant to the development of the country.

The Annual General Meeting of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators attracted arbitrators from across the country and the United States of America.

In a related development, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to conduct a free and fair elections as President Buhari has declared recently.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who spoke recently, said the remaining re-run in Rivers State and guber elections in Ondo State should be fair and violent-free.

The governor made the call in a chat with newsmen in Government House, Wednesday in Port Harcourt.

“INEC should stop causing crisis in River State”, Wike said, adding “they should listen to the promise made by Mr. President that elections in Rivers and Ondo should be free and fair.”

Wike assured that, “we will allow anybody to conduct the elections, as far as it’s free and fair. We are not interested in who but let them come and do the right thing.”

He reiterated the position of the people of Rivers State that those plotting to rig the re-run elections will be resisted .

Meanwhile, Wike has accused the Police High Command of plotting to sweep the printing of fake result sheets by the All Progressives Congress under the carpet with the take-over of the matter by the Police Zone 6, Calabar.

Giving an update on the fake result sheet saga at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Wednesday, Wike said that the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone 6 has asked the Rivers State Police Command to transfer the case and suspects to Calabar.

He said: “The interest of the police is to ensure that all those indicted in this plot to rig the rerun elections are not prosecuted.

“INEC must realise that this has to do with its credibility . It is not enough to simply deny. They must take steps to ensure that they clear themselves.

“The question of how the printers got the serial numbers and the code numbers of the units used for the results sheets and sensitive materials must be answered by INEC.

“During the Rerun tribunal sitting , the Rivers APC tendered results that were different from those declared by INEC after the March 19 elections. But the Court of Appeal and the tribunal were not deceived by the antics of the Rivers APC and INEC . These were the same people who said no election took place , but they had separate result sheets which they tendered in court”.

The governor recalled that PDP had raised alarm on the day of the March 19 rerun elections that INEC had populated the voting landscape with fake result sheets, which was confirmed by the tendering of alternate results by the APC at the tribunal.

This post was first published on the Thetidenewsonline.com

Views expressed are only those of the authors.

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