Police Detain Rivers Assembly Majority Leader

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The Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Chidi Lloyd, on Tuesday showed up at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, exactly seven days after he was invited by the police over the free-for-all by some members of the assembly.

But the Aide-De-Camp to Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Debeware Semeikumo, and the Chief Security Officer, Tony Iwelu, shunned a similar invitation to them.

The PUNCH learnt of these just as indications emerged in Abuja that the Senate might endorse the House of Representatives decision to take over the functions of the state assembly.

Lloyd, Semeikumo and Iwelu were invited on July 16 to explain their roles in the July 8 free-for-all in which some lawmakers were injured.

The Majority leader, who had earlier been declared wanted by the Rivers State Police Command in connection with the fracas, arrived at the Force Headquarters at 5.45pm and was immediately directed to the Force Criminal Investigation Department, where he was asked to write his statement.

A top Police source, who confirmed the lawmakers arrival, said it was unlikely that he would be released on Tuesday as a team of investigators needed to interrogate him.

“Lloyd came to the Force Headquarters about 5:45pm on Tuesday and he was asked to write his statement. It is not certain he would be released today (Tuesday) because he is going to face serious interrogation,” the source added.

As of 11.10pm, he had yet to leave the police headquarters, indicating that he had been detained.

When contacted, the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said he could not confirm whether Lloyd was detained or not.

But he said that Amaechi’s ADC, who was captured in a video fighting a member of the assembly, and the CSO did not appear at the FCID as directed.

Lloyd, who was also captured on video attacking another lawmaker, Michael Chinda, with a mace, had claimed that he was receiving treatment for an injury he sustained during the fracas at an undisclosed hospital.

One of our correspondents learnt from another police source that Semeikumo, who is a police officer and Iwelu, a State Security Service operative, might have absconded from duty, thereby putting their career in jeopardy.

Asked the implication of such disobedience, the DFPRO said it would be presumptuous to talk about the punishment that awaited them.

“I can confirm to you that the CSO and the ADC have not reported to the Force Headquarters; but I can’t talk on the implications of this on their career; it would be presumptuous to talk about that now,” Mba said.

When our correspondent in Port Harcourt asked Amaechi’s Chief Press Secretary. David Iyofor, why the two security personnel had not honoured the invitation, he replied that his boss was not stopping them from doing so.

Iyofor explained that the ADC had gone to seek medical attention after sustaining injuries from an attack while trying to protect the governor.

He said, “As we speak, he is being treated and I am sure the police are aware of this. The police investigators that came to Port Harcourt were clearly told this.

“I am sure the police know how to invite the CSO if they want him. However, the question we should be asking is: why are those who started the fracas not being invited?”

Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on States and Local Government Administration, has recommended that the National Assembly should take over the functions of the Rivers assembly following its inability to carry out its functions.

The House of Representatives had on July 10 passed a resolution, urging the National Assembly to take over the duties of the assembly.

It hinged its decision on Section 11(4) of the 1999 Constitution.

The Senate’s committee, which investigated the fracas by the lawmakers, also recommended the redeployment of the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Joseph Mbu, because of the rift between him and Amaechi.

Although a copy of the report was not immediately available, a member of the Kabiru Gaya-led committee, told one of our correspondents in confidence, that they found out that the crisis was fuelled by the conflict between the governor and the Presidency.

According to him, there were indications that the Presidency was supporting the five members of the assembly, who attempted to sack the speaker.

He said, “From our findings, it was clear that the two parties had faults. The Presidency, on one side backing a faction of the members of the assembly and the Governor on the other hand, supporting the other faction.

“We found the action of the five members despicable. The action of the Majority Leader, who used the mace to hit the head of one of his colleagues was also despicable.

“We also discovered that the Commissioner of Police and the governor can no longer work together to secure the state. One has to leave and of course you cannot ask the governor to leave. So the commissioner will have to go.

“We are also recommending that the National Assembly should take over the functions of the assembly, given the current state of affairs at the legislature.”

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Written by OMG Tatafo

"Tatafo"ing is my life mission and commission.