Reports reaching Naij.com inform that the
Independent National Electoral Commission,
INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC),
for Rivers State, Dame Gesila Khan, was
apprehended by State Security Services, SSS
operatives over her role in the conduct of the
recent general elections in the state.
According to Nigerian Pilot, the REC was
detained in an underground cell with nobody
having access to her, including her family and
It was alleged that her arrest was masterminded
by members of the All Progressives Congress
(APC), in the state, who feeling there was foul
play in the March and April elections in which
the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidates
won with landslide victories in both state and
National Assembly elections.
Informants claim that a directive from the office
of the President, led the Inspector-General of
Police, Solomon Arase to invite Khan to his
office in Abuja where she was reportedly
quizzed for hours on her refusal to allow the
APC access to election materials despite an
order by the state governorship election petition
tribunal sitting in Abuja.
READ ALSO: PDP Chieftain Murdered In Rivers
Meanwhile the PDP Caucus in the state
assembly, petitioned the director of department
of the DSS in Rivers State, over the invitation of
Khan by the IGP sometime last week.
According to the Nigerian Pilot Khan was
questioned last Thursday by the SSS but she
was later released to report back on Tuesday
after the Eid-fitrl holidays.
When she reported back for questioning, she
was detained against her will.
State public relations officer of INEC, Mrs. Tonia
Nwoye, however claims the INEC REC was never
arrested though she never stated if she was
detained or brought in for question. Khan’s
family members have however said she was
Meanwhile, a source in the Public Relations Unit
of the DSS headquarters in Abuja did not any
details of the development though he refered
any inquiry on the case to the Acting Director-
General of DSS.
In a related development, the Rivers State
House of Assembly hashas released a
statement condemning the perceived
harassment of Khan and her colleagues.
The press release titled: “Protest over Undue
Interference in Rivers State Election Petitions
Pending before the Election Petition Tribunals”
was signed by 31 lawmakers and read before
journalists by the Speaker, Ikuinyi Ibani.
It reads: “We, the undersigned members of the
Rivers State House of Assembly, hereby, for
ourselves and on behalf of the entire good
people of Rivers State, that we represent,
express our deepest worries and displeasure
against the undue interference and
meddlesomeness in the political affairs of Rivers
State and the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting
“We have watched with dismay the way and
manner the Directorate of State Security (DSS)
has been intimidating and harassing electoral
officers connected with or handling matters
relating to the 2015 general elections held in
Rivers State, as well as the election petitions.
READ ALSO: Peterside – Wike Will Be Removed
As Governor Of Rivers
“We have it on good authority that the Rivers
State REC, Mrs. Gesila Khan, and her officers
were orally invited to DSS office in Abuja and
she honoured the invitation with her senior
officers on Tuesday, July 22, 2015, only to be
arrested and detained till about 10pm on
Wednesday, July 23, with further instructions to
report to the DSS daily.
“It is important to state that Section 2, sub-
Section 3 of the National Security Agencies Act,
Cap. 74, 2004, has defined the functions of the
DSS, which are limited to crimes bordering on
the internal security of the country such as
insurrections. Again, we make bold to say that
INEC is a party at the Election Petition and the
arrest of Mrs. Khan under the guise of
preventing breakdown of law and order is not
only laughable, but condemnable.
“It is wrong for the State Security apparatus to
be used to intimidate parties concerning
pending matters in court or any tribunal using
all kinds of allegations three months after
elections. We, therefore, call on the DSS to
desist from further arrest or intimidation of any
official involved directly or indirectly in the
election petitions,” the statement read.
INEC announced Chief Nyesom Wike of the PDP
as governor after he defeated APC governorship
candidate, Mr. Dakuku Peterside in the
gubernatorial election. Also the PDP also won
majority seats in State House of Assembly,
Senate and House of Representatives.
The APC caucus in the state have raised alarms
that the elctions in the state might have been
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