Group Condemns Rivers REC’s Arrest | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Group Condemns Rivers REC’s Arrest

Posted: Aug 2, 2015 at 5:20 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Igoniko Oduma, Yenagoa

A Niger Delta-based non-governmental organisation, the Niger Delta Watch for Democracy (NDWD), has condemned the arrest and detention of the Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Gesila Khan, by the Department of State Services (DSS).

In a statement at the weekend in Yenagoa by the President, Edwin Ebiowei, and the Secretary, Tonbra Dicky, the group said Khan was being targeted for intimidation and  persecution.

The DSS detained her at its headquarters in Abuja on July 22  after she honoured an invitation by the security agency over issues bordering on the conduct of the last general elections in Rivers.

NDWD said findings by its members showed that the former Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, and the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, influenced Khan’s arrest and incarceration.

It alleged that Amaechi and Ikanya were bent on tarnishing her image with “spurious and unfounded allegations”.

The group wondered why the DSS went after Khan when issues pertaining to the elections in Rivers were being heard by a legitimate election petition tribunal.


“Mrs. Khan is like any other REC that conducted the last general elections and performed her duties creditably as enshrined in the electoral guidelines and the constitution.

“Therefore, why is she being singled out for this onslaught, intimidation and persecution which have become her lot?

“As a non-governmental group that is promoting equity, justice and democratic values in the Niger Delta, we can hear the voice of Jacob and the hand of Esau in this unholy drama,” NDWD said.

It called on the DSS and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to resist attempts by desperate politicians to use them to achieve their sinister motives.

The NDWD also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the matter and ensure that Khan’s fundamental human rights were not trampled upon for serving her country.