The Commissioner of Police (CP) on duty in the last Adamawa governorship election, Mohammed Barde, is set to face disciplinary action for his role in the illegal declaration of a winner in the poll.
The Nigeria Police Force, in a letter dated June 1, issued a query to Barde highlighting his failure to deliver on his duties and accused him of colluding with the suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Hudu Yanusa-Ari, who made the illegal declaration.
The letter addressed to Barde, a serving CP of Imo State, came barely 11 weeks after the police authorities withdrew him from election duties in the state over the controversial incident.
In a video that went viral on social media, Yunusa-Ari, flanked by CP Barde, had declared Senator Aishatu Binani of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the election while collation of results were still ongoing.
INEC, in reaction, had described Yanusa-Ari’s declaration as ‘null and void’, saying his action amounted to usurpation of the powers of its returning officer for the election who had the legal powers to declare the outcome of the poll.
The letter querying CP Barde was signed by the Force Secretary, AIG Habu Sani, on behalf of the Inspector General of Police.
It partly read: “You are a Commissioner of Police in charge of Imo State Command and by virtue of your rank and experience on the Job, you are expected to be conversant with extant laws, rules, and regulations guiding Police officers as well as exhibit a high level of professionalism and responsibility in all your actions but unfortunately, the reverse is the case.
“Recall that you were posted as Adamawa State Election Duty Commissioner of Police with the core mandate of supervising all aspects of security and related matters towards ensuring a peaceful and credible conduct of the election in line with the 2022 electoral Act as amended and other applicable laws as well as guidelines.
“Your posting particularly placed you in charge of the Adamwa State supplementary Gubernatorial election held on 15th April, 2023.
“Following the completion of the voting, collation of results commenced appropriately but before the completion of the said collation exercise, you accompanied the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Adamawa State and provided him the needed security cover to unlawfully announce a result of an inconclusive election to the consternation of all and sundry.
“Knowing fully well that the said INEC REC is not empowered by law to announce any election result and being aware that the collation of results was yet to be concluded, you deliberately, willfully, and illegally colluded with the said REC to commit an electoral offense, undermine public trust, compromise a sensitive national assignment and impugned the integrity of the Nigeria Police Force.
“These intentional and disgraceful acts of yours were despite prior notifications and warnings by the Deputy Inspector General of Police Operations who called you via GSM on the 15th of April 2023 intimating you of intelligence regarding the plans by the REC to illegally announce results, which he eventually did with your due presence.
“The totality of your actions which were captured in viral videos generated public outcry and condemnation, portrayed the Force in an extremely negative light, and would have occasioned an enormous crisis in the State if not for the prompt deployment of reinforcements.
“You have therefore undoubtedly debased the exalted rank of Commissioner of Police and brought the image of the Force to an all-time low.”
Consequently, the police demanded that the CP explained his “disgraceful” acts of serious misconduct within 48 hours stating why disciplinary action should not be taken against him.
The CP is being queried for his refusal to take/carry out lawful instructions from Superior officers – “In that, you deliberately refused to heed the instructions of the DIG Operations who warned you of the illegal plans of the REC, contrary to rule 030301 (m) of the Public Service Rules, 2009 as amended”, the police said.
The police said his actions culminated in a compromise of the security situation in the state while also querying him for divided loyalty, sabotage, and acts unbecoming of a public officer.
“You are therefore required to explain within 48hrs of receipt of this query why disciplinary action should not be taken against you.
“Your explanation if any should be submitted through the appropriate channel within the stipulated period or it would be presumed that you have non to offer and the Inspector General of Police will be at liberty to take any action he deems appropriate in the circumstance,” the letter read.