The Nigeria Police Force has stated that there is no court order preventing it from investigating the alleged violence that occurred during the legislative rerun election in Rivers State.
A statement by the Force’s spokesman, CSP Jimoh Moshood, also affirmed that there was no directive stopping the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, from performing his statutory duties under the law.
Contrary to a report in the media, the Police maintained that the court said the force had the option to either continue with its investigation or not, pending the determination of the suit.
They added that the case was consequently adjourned to February 10, 2017.
The Police urged Nigerians to disregard the caption posted by news platform which they said was misleading, insisting that IGP Idris is committed to riding Nigeria of all forms of criminality within the ambit of the law.
What Transpired In Court
The Police statement reads: “The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to an online/social media publication by Breaking Times on January 31, 2017 captioned ‘HIGH COURT STOPS THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE FROM PROBING RIVERS STATE RE-RUN VIOLENCE’.
“The said publication, which is in respect of an ongoing Civil Suit NO. FHC/ABJ/CS/13/2017 between the Governor of Rivers State (Mr Nyesom Wike) and the Inspector General of Police, pending at the Federal High Court Abuja, purportedly claimed that ‘the Federal High Court has asked the Inspector General of Police to maintain status quo in the investigation of the violence that rocked Rivers State during the Re-Run Legislative Election on December 10, 2016’ among others.
“It is however, pertinent to make the following clarifications in order to keep the general public informed of what transpired in court on January 30, 2017 when the case came up for hearing:
a. That counsel to the Inspector General of Police raised a preliminary objective to the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the motion,
b. That the counsel to the Governor of Rivers State informed the court that the needed time respond to both the counter affidavit and the preliminary objection.
“The court, however observed that the Nigeria Police Force has the option to either continue with their investigation or not, pending the determination of the suit. The case was then adjourned to February 10, 2017.
A Misleading Caption
“In the light of the above, it is very clear that the Federal High Court has not in any way stopped the Nigeria Police Force from investigating the alleged violence during the said rerun election in Rivers State. In this regard, no order was given by the court stopping the Inspector General of Police from performing his statutory duties under the law.
“Consequently, the caption posted by Breaking Times is misleading and should be disregarded by the public. A careful perusal of the full content of the said publication reveals the true outcome of the Justice Kolawole’s ruling. It only goes to show that the motive behind such a caption is to draw attention of the public.
“The Inspector General of Police wishes to restate his unalloyed commitment to rid the country of all forms of criminality bearing in mind the obligation of the Force within the ambit of the law.”