There is the balance of the N360m alleged bribe which the police accused Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State of dishing out to election umpires in the run up to the December 10 re-run legislative polls?
The police said last week that they had recovered N111.3million of the sum from 23 officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) saddled with conducting the elections.
They did not say at the time what became of the remaining N248m.
The Chairman of the panel, Damian Okoro, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, alleged that three senior electoral officers collected N20 million each of the N360 million while the remaining officers received N15 million each.
However, The Nation can now report that the police believe the balance was squandered on choice cars ,houses and other assets by the ‘bribe’ recipients.
A source knowledgeable about the report of the 15-man panel set up by Police Inspector General, Ibrahim Idris, to probe the circumstances surrounding the election said the suspects embarked on a spending spree with their share.
The source who pleaded not to be named said: “The panel discovered that some of them (suspects) bought houses, cars and even renovated their existing houses with the money.
“The panel also discovered that some gave out money to their relatives while some others invested. Several cars were recovered and they would be tendered during prosecution in court.”
Governor Wike had dismissed the police report as lacking substance.
His Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, said: “The statement (by the police) is patently false, politically motivated and cooked by the police to justify the violence they visited in the people of Rivers State during the re-run.
”For the avoidance of doubt, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike did not spend N360 million to rig the re-run legislative elections of December 10, 2016.
“The people of Rivers State overwhelmingly voted the PDP across the state because of the outstanding performance of Governor Wike since May 29, 2015.”
Speaking further on the police findings yesterday, the source said: “In the audio tape that went viral, the governor was mentioning 8,8,7, and what he was referring to was the officials of INEC. He gave the leaders of the INEC officials from the three states, N20million each.”
He added: “As mentioned by the IG, the report will be sent to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN) who will now go through it and necessary action will be taken against those indicted. He is the Chief Law of the Federation.”
Asked to respond to the allegation by the Rivers State government that the panel report was made up, the source said: “Where did the police get the huge amount of money displayed from? “Those cars and houses recovered, where did the panel get them from? Is it police money or something?
“23 people have been arrested and they all confessed. It was through them that the money was recovered. It was through them that the cars were also recovered. The 23 people arrested, the panel has their video confessions and they all wrote their official statements with their own hands.
“They are all educated people and they used their own handwriting to write their confession and they also spoke on video. They video will be provided during prosecution.
“All documents are available on how they were summoned to the Government House, how they were given the money inside Government House and how vehicles were brought to them to move the Ghana Must Go bags, and how they were moved to their hotels. Everything was confessed to on video.
“This is not a political issue. This is a case where money that was supposed to be used to build schools, hospitals, roads and others social amenities was squandered. So, whoever does wrong will be made to carry his or her cross irrespective of political affiliation.
“So, that is the true position of everything. Everything is there and all the people that the money was recovered from are alive, they confessed both in writing and on video.”