PORT HARCOURT—The Police authorities have filed a six-count charge of conspiracy and murder against the Majority Leader of Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr Chidi Lloyd before a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt.
A source at Police headquarters, Abuja, told Vanguard that the Police after a careful and thorough examination of both oral and video evidences as well as the contributions of parties involved, came to the conclusion, adding “we have done our part, it is now left to the court to assign the case and fix hearing date.”
Similarly, Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, will join in the civil society protest, slated for Port Harcourt, today, over the crisis rocking the state People’s Democratic Party, PDP, which snowballed into the state House Assembly recently, leading to a free for all. Despite opposition to the rally by former militants and some civil society groups in the state, organisers of the protest, yesterday, insisted on going ahead with today’s protest.
Also, the Senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial district, Senator Magnus Abe, has renewed his call for the immediate redeployment of the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph Mbu, over what he described as “his questionable involvement in the Rivers crisis.”
Senator Abe, who is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream, expressed sadness that the police hierarchy had not done anything on the matter even though the National Assembly had passed a resolution asking for Mbu’s redeployment.
The filing of charges against Lloyd, came as the Police authorities in Abuja, denied allegations by Rivers State lawmakers that the Majority Leader, was tortured and maltreated while in Abuja for interrogation.
The state lawmakers, who raised alarm over the deteriorating health of Lloyd, had alleged that he was going blind because of the tear gas spread into his eyes, adding that he was badly manhandled while in Police custody, in addition to being handcuffed.
But Force Spokesman, Mr. Frank Mba, who spoke to Vanguard, said “As far as we are concerned, detectives from the Police headquarters were very professional and very civil in handling Llyod’s case. As a matter of fact, throughout his stay in Abuja, he was given very polite but professionally firm treatment.”
It will be recalled that shortly before Lloyd was flown back to Port Harcourt, after his interrogation, his case-file on the fracas that took place at the Rivers Assembly, was forwarded to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, for legal advice.
Meanwhile, Senator Abe, insisting on Mbu being transferred out of the state, said: “I think that it is actually an embarrassment to the police for them to wait this long. “If you look at the report of the Senate Committee, it is clear that crime has gone up in Port Harcourt while this man has been here. It is clear that normal policing is not going on in the state. It is clear that the citizens of the state are at risk, so moving somebody who is not contributing in any positive manner to what the constitution expects us to be doing here is not something that the police need to wait for National Assembly to pass resolution. It is clear that the man cannot function as Commissioner of Police in Rivers State.”
Insisting on Mbu’s redeployment to ensure peace and stability in the state, Abe said: “he (Mbu) will go. There is no doubt about it. The National Assembly has called for it and I don’t think that it is something we need to debate. Rivers people know that his presence here has not contributed to the peace and stability of the state. If both Houses of the National Assembly make a clear and categorical demand, if the facts on ground make a clear and categorical demand, if the people of the state themselves have made a clear and categorical demand, Mbu should by himself carry his bags and go.”
He noted that the National Assembly had put into consideration the wishes of Rivers people and of other Nigerians in passing its resolution, which called for Mbu’s redeployment.
He appealed to political stakeholders to work for the peace and stability of the state, just as he enjoined them to resolve their political differences in the spirit of give and take.
Meanwhile, Concerned indigenes of Rivers State have rallied round HRM, Queen Akasoba Duke-Abiola, the Akasoba of Kalabari and Chairperson, Akasoba Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, ACPCR, to find a lasting peace to the ongoing political crisis in Rivers State.