Emmanuel Phillips, a retired officer of the Department of State Services, has said the Rivers State governorship election of April 11 was peaceful.
The former DSS commander stated this while being cross examined by Akin Olujinmi (SAN), the counsel of the petitioner, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, at the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Saturday.
According to the officer, the DSS personnel earlier invited to testify on the election in Rivers State lied on oath before the tribunal.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that one Godwin Mba, a DSS personnel, had testified on September 13 at the Tribunal that thugs and cultists were widely used by the Peoples Democratic Party to affect and disrupt the April 11 poll in the state.
Phillips, who led a team of 200 DSS operatives from Abuja to monitor the election, said the exercise was devoid of violence as against the claim of the DSS official.
He told the tribunal that soldiers were stationed at border communities of the different Local Government Areas they visited during the election.
He explained that from his observation and the field reports from his men in the 12 Local Government Areas they monitored, there were no issues of violence or disruption of voting in all the areas.
The Local Government Areas he said they patrolled were Port Harcourt, Obio/Akpor, Degema, Emohua, Asaritoru, Akukutoru, Eleme, Okirika, Ogu /Bolo, Ahoada East, Ahoada West and Abua/Odual.
Six other witnesses, who voted at different polling units and wards in different Local Government Areas, also testified at the tribunal that the election was peaceful in their areas.
Some of the witnesses told the tribunal that they were accredited with card reader machines, while others said they did manual accreditation.
The witnesses were Samson Joseph, Eugene Maduenyi, Dok-Gin McLean, Jack May, Isaac Banigo and Charles Eneotu.
The six witnesses described the election as credible and successful.
NAN reports that at the early session of the tribunal sitting, some security operatives stormed the venue to make an arrest.
NAN also reports that immediately the vehicle of the retired DSS commander left the premises of the tribunal, security operatives followed him.
Addressing newsmen outside the tribunal on the incident, Emmanuel Ukala, Counsel to Governor Nyesom Wike, said he was not aware that the security operatives were coming to make an arrest.
Counsel to the PDP, Goddy Uche, and Olujinmi also said that they were not aware, but added that if the arrest happened to be true, such an action is a bad signal for the country’s democracy.