Rivers rerun: I was framed, says Wike’s aide
Mr. Cyril Dum Wite, Special Adviser on Special Projects to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state, was arrested allegedly with military uniforms and N40m by security agents during the last re-run election in the state. He spoke on his experience and what transpired in this interview with Ann Godwin in Port Harcourt.
Events preceding my arrest
This is too aggressive and the highest lie from the pit of hell. I am not the type that goes about with hoodlums and I don’t have a police escort it is therefore not possible for me to do anything contrary or against the Law.
What happened during the rerun election was that we had waited in Ward 12 in Lugbara in Khana for the materials till 12 noon and suddenly, I had a call from my ward chairman that the materials we were expecting had been hijacked on the way from Bori, the INEC centre.
I was told the materials was hijacked at Wiakara and that the two army trucks guarding the election materials on both sides were trying to force the bus to turn into Wiakara, the home town of one of the APC’s stalwarts called Edere Gbene.
This is the same Wiakara where soldiers have been in camp for over one week, preceding this election, trying to perfect their plans to hijack election materials. For me, I didn’t bother because I knew that the people are on our side and despite the two trucks loaded with soldiers who were trying to divert the materials, our supporters will resist them.
When one of the Presiding Officers could no longer contain what was happening, she decided to return to Bori. By the time I drove to Wiakara Junction, I traced the materials to the INEC office in Bori and I saw the lady in charge of the election materials in Ward 12 and I asked her what was happening. She told me the place was becoming too rowdy; she cannot get to the RAC centre. But I said the RAC centre is in Lugbara where you will distribute materials to Gure and Wiakara.
She insisted that she wanted to go back to Bori but I insisted the law says go to the RAC centre and from there; you can now go to the other units. She said since the time has gone, she would deliver the materials unit-by-unit. I asked her, what is the guarantee that she will deliver the materials unit-by-unit and she said she would be escorted by the soldiers but I said my concern is for the materials to get to my ward, how it would get there, I don’t want to know.
To my surprise one of the soldiers even told me he would do whatever the INEC woman says and I said, okay, let us go to the unit but suddenly, the soldiers around us started beating some of the boys who came with me to report the matter at the INEC office. I asked why are they beating the boys but they asked me why am I defending them. I told them the boys came with me to the INEC office at Bori to lodge complains of the hijacked materials and it has been confirmed that the materials could not arrive and we have traced the materials back to the INEC office. I further told the soldiers that the issue had been resolved and we are going back to our ward to vote. While speaking, one of the soldiers came to hit me and before I knew what was happening they all pounced on me.
I was arrested on the instruction of the APC’s candidate for Khana Constituency 2, Friday Inkee. I was shocked because I belong to Khana Constituency 1. There was no way I was going to vote for him and my actions can’t affect him. So, I was shocked that he was the one who directed that I should be beaten, alleging that Senator Lee Maeba and I had procured military uniforms to rig the election.
Here was somebody I worked with as a special assistant when he was the Commissioner for Sports for three months. All of this happened at the INEC office, with over 2000 people witnessing. It is not as if I was arrested on the road or anywhere else. I was arrested at the INEC office where I went to make complain about the hijacked election materials. I cannot sit back in my ward, when I have not seen the election material and my ward chairman has told me that the materials had been snatched on the road by soldiers. I felt very bad and I had to report. I am not a party agent but the leader of the ward.
The video of my arrest with fake army uniforms
I had no military uniform on me. What you saw on the video with about three men wearing camouflage was a lie; I had no knowledge of it. I was seated on the floor when they brought them. I think they were arrested on the road; the police can attest to that. I don’t know them; they were not arrested with me. I was beaten and kicked to the floor at the INEC office in Bori; I was not arrested from anywhere. They arrested those men on the road and they brought them to sit by my side. They had no business with me; they were not in the same car with me.
The alleged money found on me
I had no knowledge of such an amount of money until it was displayed. This is because the owner of the money is the owner of the car. When he was interrogated, he said he made a large transaction on Thursday or so but the bank had closed. Instead of leaving the money in his house that he was not sure of its safety, he put the money inside the boot of his car, pending the time the banks would be opened.
He said he had about N2 million in his car. What is wrong with that? The money was in his car and he identified it. They asked me to count the money but I asked why should I count the money but I was forced to count it. The money is not my mine; the car is not my own; the uniform they saw does not belong to me I did not procure it. The men they put by my side were arrested from the road for a different offence. They said they were members of the Nigerian Maritime Academy, or so. They have their case to prove.
Its frame up
All that happened was a complete frame up. Everybody knows me here in the state that I am not that kind of a person; I don’t go about with police, neither do I go about with boys. I am free-minded. So, I could not have now, for the purposes of election, go and procure people. The police will tell you that those men whose pictures they put on the social media were arrested on the road by soldiers and were brought to the INEC office. They were now asked to sit by my side for the purpose of their pictures. Of course, God will punish whoever did that. I don’t have any boys; I don’t have any soldier. I move about freely as a Special Adviser to the governor and so for any reason, I don’t need anybody; I don’t need the boys either.
To seek redress
Well, if things are not properly handled, I may consider the need to press charges because this is clearly a big frame-up from Friday Inkee, the APC candidate from Khana Constituency 2. I am really worried because we don’t belong to the same constituency and I would not vote for him, as he does not really need my vote to win election. I am very surprised that this is happening; it looks to me that there is more to it than meet the eye and I would have to expose whoever is behind it.