Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, has said that his government has filed a motion before the International Criminal Court to prosecute the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sarhem for various crimes against humanity.
Backstory: Wike who disclosed this at a media briefing in response to bribery allegations leveled against him by the 6 Division, said that the GOC would have to explain to Nigerians the reasons behind the Army’s invasion of the Collation Centres in Ikwere, Emohua and Okrika Local Government Areas of the state.
“We are doing a petition to the International Criminal Court. We are demanding justice for all those killed in the election by the army.
“Nigerians watched in utter dismay as three Local Government Electoral Officers of INEC indicted soldiers of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army for orchestrating electoral violence, snatching election materials and criminally colluding with All Progressives Congress, APC, leaders to concoct results during the Presidential and National Assembly elections. Rather than respond to these allegations, the GOC is making diversionary allegations,” he said.
Amaechi working with the Army: Citing the statement made by Mary Imawuya, the Electoral Officer in Ikwerre LGA, the governor noted that her abduction was orchestrated by soldiers and the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who compelled her to write results.
He never offered bribes: Wike said the Army arrested the Rivers state Commissioner of Urban Development and Physical Planning, Dr. Reason Onya for being among the approved People’s Democratic Party (PDP) agents. He said he reached out to about 10 different Army officers over Onya’s arrest in order to secure his release, but never offered a bribe.
Army Disagrees: According to the Nigerian Army, Onya was arrested alongside 13 others including Opokri Wanaka, a member of the State House of Assembly, for illegal possession of ballot papers and attempting to bribe officers.
Army spokesperson, Aminu Ilyiasu, stated that the suspects had attempted to induce troops to rig the election, in favor of an unnamed party. But when arrests were made, Governor Wike had called the GOC of the division, a recorded call that was played for journalists present.