Wike said the dismissed police officers had done nothing wrong and were just victims of politics
On Friday, force public relations officer, Don Awunah, said the dismissed officers flouted orders of not escorting their principal to the polling units during the recent Rivers legislative rerun election.
The decision to dismiss and prosecute the "erring officers" had been arrived at following the recommendations of a panel set up by Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris.
Awunah said the police officers were “overzealous, took laws into their hands and opened fire, causing panic in the crowd”.
“These police personnel while in the convoy of His Excellency, the executive Governor of Rivers state Barr. Nyesom Wike on the date of election, 10th December, 2016 misused the firearms in their possession contrary to the provisions of Force Order 237.
“They joined in storming the Port Harcourt city council secretariat and prevented the movement of election results of Emouha polling unit to the appropriate collation centre designated by INEC, in flagrant disregard and disobedience to senior Police officers present at the venue.
“The six police officers, after the conclusion of investigation into this public mischief, were subjected to internal disciplinary measures, found guilty and consequently dismissed from the force. They will be prosecuted under the electoral Act to serve as a deterrent to others", the spokesperson said.
Awunah added that the force was committed to carrying "out its constitutional obligations in accordance with the laws of the land before, during and after every election.”
The dismissed police officers are Eyong Victor, Peter Ekpo, Oguni Goodluck, Orji Nwoke, Okpe Ezekiel and Tanko Akor.
However, in a statement made available to Pulse by Dr Austin Tam-George, who is the Commissioner for Information and Communication in Rivers State, Governor Wike said the police high command has been unprofessional in its conduct.
The statement reads as follows:
"The Rivers State Government notes with infinite sadness the decision of the Nigeria Police to dismiss six police officers attached to Governor Nyesom Wike.
"The police officers were subjected to a secret and unfair trial, on totally fictitious charges of professional misconduct, during the rerun elections in Rivers State on the 10th of December 2016.
"This is a tragic day for professionalism and the respect for human rights in the Nigeria police force.
"The dismissed officers committed no crime, other than foil a carefully orchestrated electoral heist by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in collusion with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Nigeria Police force.
"The claim by the Police that the affected officers misused their firearms while in the convoy of Governor Wike on the 10th of December 2016, is a wrong and cruel fabrication.
"Governor Wike did not depart from his official premises on the day of the election, and therefore had no use for an armed convoy.
"Two days after the elections, on the 12th of December 2016, thousands of Rivers people, led by Governor Wike, resisted an invasion by the police on the premises of the Port Harcourt City Local Government Council premises, in a brazen attempt to rig the elections in favour of the APC.
"The Port Harcourt City Council was the Election Collation Centre for the Rivers East Senatorial District.
"Throughout the period of the stand off between the invading police officers and the thousands of citizens who resisted them, Governor Wike and the officers around him conducted themselves with utmost restraint.
"The dismissed officers are therefore the latest victims of the medieval dictatorship of the APC government. A government that seems to lurch blindly in the miasma of its own incompetence and intolerance. .
"We urge Nigerians to demand the immediate reinstatement of these officers, and for the Inspector General of Police to allow an independent inquiry.
"The APC government has never hidden it's desperation to overrun Rivers State, "colonize'' its people and loot the treasury of the State.
"But the Rivers people will continue to resist all attempts to enslave them".
Wike and Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi have been locked in a battle for supremacy in Rivers State.