The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, on Thursday in Abuja inaugurated the recently constituted joint investigative panel on the Dec. 10 legislative re-run elections in Rivers.
The 15-man panel, headed by Damien Okoro, consists of officers of the police and the Department of State Services (DSS) with investigative, forensic and technical expertise.
“The panel which is to conduct its investigation in conjunction with a team from the Department of States Services (DSS) has the following terms of reference:
“One, Conduct a thorough investigation into the role of security agents before, during and after the election;
“Two, examine the role of any police officer or security agent whose actions or activities individually or collectively was detrimental to the good conduct of the elections;
“Three, conduct a forensic analysis on the audio report released by Sahara Reporters as it concerns the election.
“Four, examine any other matter that is relevant to the conduct of the elections, and make recommendations and implementation strategies to guide future elections.’’
He also charged the panel to probe the violence that marred the exercise in which two police officers were gruesomely murdered.
He noted that the 1999 Constitution and other relevant laws empowered the police to conduct investigations into criminal matters across the entire country.
The I-G gave the committee 30 days with effect from Dec. 17 to submit its findings.
Mr. Idris said four suspects had so far been arrested in connection with the murder of two officers, while two rifles had been recovered.
The I-G said police was an apolitical organisation that must not get involved in politics, adding that its interest was to ensure hitch-free elections.
He solicited the support and cooperation of all well-meaning Nigerians, especially INEC and the Rivers State Government, to enable the panel succeed in its assignment.
Responding, Mr. Okoro thanked the I-G for the confidence reposed in the committee, adding that they will be guided by relevant extant laws in the discharge of the assignment.