An audio recording has emerged allegedly portraying Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers admitting to giving money to some electoral officials and threatening to kill them if they did not act to instructions.
In the audio, published by Sahara Reporters, a supposed electoral officer is heard telling Mr. Wike that INEC officials were being intimidated from doing the governor’s bidding.
“Intimidation by who now,” Mr. Wike was heard asking.
The governor told the official to tell others to be courageous and do what was done in Ikwerre
“Ikwerre did it, they couldn’t even do anything,” Mr. Wike was heard saying.
The governor is also heard threatening to kill the officials if they do not do his bidding or return his money.
“They should return what they gave them or I will kill them,” the governor was heard telling a supposed aide whom he asked to warn the unnamed INEC officials from deployed from Plateau.
The authenticity of the edited audio clip or when the discussions held cannot be independently verified at this point.
The Rivers re-run election, held on Saturday, was marred by violence, ballot box snatching and other electoral malpractices in many of the voting areas.
A deputy superintendent of police was among the dead from the violence during the elections that pitted candidates of Mr. Wike’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against those of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
Results of over half of the 21 legislative seats contested during the election have been announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), with the PDP taking a slight lead. The PDP won two of the three senatorial seats while the APC won one.
Governor Wike’s spokesperson is yet to respond to request for comments.