New Rivers CP Assures State Of Improved Security

rivers-cpThe new Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, CP Ahmed Zaki, has said that although he is not unaware of the political intrigues in the state, his mission is to be professional in the fight against crime and criminality.

The CP was speaking when he visited the state governor Nyesom Wike, who expressed doubt that the police under any command in the state can be professional.

Governor Wike, however, expressed the government’s readiness to provide logistic support for the force.

The former CP, Francis Odesanya, died on January 13, at the age of 56 after a brief illness.

He was enlisted into the Force on February 1, 1986 as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police and rose through the ranks.

Senator Abe Eulogises Late Rivers CP, Francis Odesanya

Magnus Abe, Rivers, Police, Senator Magnus Abe has reacted to the demise of the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr Francis Odesanya, who died in India after a brief illness.

In a statement issued in Port Harcourt and signed by his spokesman, Mr Parry Benson, the lawmaker said he was shocked when he heard about the death of the fine and gallant police officer.

He described the late commissioner as a true professional who carried out his duties with sense of responsibility, commitment and diligence.

Rivers, Police, Francis Odesanya, Magnus Abe
Late Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Francis Odesanya

Senator Abe, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), regretted that “Mr Odesanya could die at this critical period of our national life when his professional service, competence and capabilities are needed in containing threats to national security and ensuring crime free society”.

He added that the deceased was a patriot who was principled, dogged and brave in fighting crime, stressing that the people of Rivers State would miss his efforts dearly.

The former Secretary to the Rivers State Government condoled with the family of the late police officer for the loss of their bread winner, as well as the government and people of Ogun State.

He prayed that God would give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Death
Mr Odesanya’s death was announced by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, in a statement signed by the spokesman for the Police, CSP Jimoh Moshood.

He passed on at Sterling Hospital Ahmedabad-Gujarat in India, aged 56 after a brief illness.

The late Commissioner of Police was enlisted into the Force on February 1, 1986 as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police and rose through the ranks.

Wike Condoles With Police Over Demise Of Rivers CP

Francis Odesanya, Police, Nyesom WikeThe Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has described his feeling as that of shock on receiving the news of the death of Rivers State’s Commissioner of Police, Francis Odesanya.

The Governor condoled with the Police High Command, officers and men of the Rivers State Police Command over the death of the Police Commissioner.

He prayed God to grant the family of the departed the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Mr Odesanya’s death was announced by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, in a statement signed by the spokesman for the Police, CSP Jimoh Moshood.

He passed on at Sterling Hospital Ahmedabad-Gujarat in India at the age of 56 after a brief illness.

The late Commissioner of Police was enlisted into the Force on February 1, 1986 as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police and rose through the ranks.

Rivers Protest: House Of Assembly Condemns Police Action

Speaker, Adams Dabotorudima, Rivers Protest: House Of Assembly Condemns Police Action
Speaker, Adams Dabotorudima,

The Rivers State House of Assembly has condemned the role of some Police operatives in Thursday’s protests by supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.

After a two-hour debate on the matter, the 19-member house passed a resolution, calling on the Inspector General of Police to immediately transfer the two officers that supervised the protests out of the state.

The Speaker of the House, Adams Dabotoridima, addressed journalists on the need for the action to be taken urgently.

Thursday was a day of protests in Port Harcourt as supporters of the APC and the PDP stormed the streets to express their grievances over different matters.

The APC members stormed the streets to show their grievances over two of their elected members in the state House of Assembly who are yet to be sworn in while supporters of the PDP claim they were out to register their support for the leadership of the House and the government of Rivers State.

The APC members who came out in their numbers caused a traffic jam along Azikiwe road in the Rivers state capital.

The leader of the protest and secretary of the party in the state Emeka Bekee lamented what he described as a deliberate attempt of the government to frustrate the process.

While the APC protest was going on, the situation with supporters of the PDP appeared tenser.

In an open confrontation, the Police engaged the protesters in an attempt to stop them from proceeding.

This led to the use of tear gas and live ammunition. One person was shot in the leg.

Channels Television’s cameraman, Ekikere Udom, was also attacked during the chaos. He was reportedly hit with a gun by the Police.

From his hospital bed, he recounted how he was brutalized by the Police.

“I was doing my work when a group of policemen came around me and asked me to stop recording and started beating me up. I tried to show them my ID card, but they continued.

“After the beating, while I was trying to recover myself, another officer came and hit me on my rib with the tip of the gun and I fell. They hit my camera and seized it and my bag. I had to manage my way out of there,” he said.

APC, PDP Protests In Port Harcourt Turn Violent

APC, PDP, Plateau Politics, Deputy SpeakerIt’s been a day of protests in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital where the supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stormed the streets to express their grievances over different matters.

While the APC is aggrieved that two of their elected members in the state House of Assembly are yet to be sworn in, the supporters of the PDP claim they were out to register their support for the leadership of the House and the government of Rivers State.

The APC members who came out in their numbers caused a traffic jam along Azikiwe road in the Rivers state capital.

The leader of the protest and secretary of the party in the state Emeka Bekee lamented what he described as a deliberate attempt of the government to frustrate the process.

rivers-apc-protest
The APC members stormed the streets in their numbers

“This morning, immediately he (Rivers State Governor) got wind of this protest he set up a visit to the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly. He never visited the Speaker since, it’s now he decided to visit the speaker.

“That is to tell you the Governor knows what he is doing and we the APC will not take it anymore. We have given Nigerians the opportunity to hear our cry. There are members of the PDP in the National Assembly, the APC-led leadership did not refuse to swear them in, why is it that the Governor and the PDP have refused to swear our people in?

 Emeka Bekee
Leader of the APC Protest, Emeka Bekee

“After today, APC will not take it anymore, whatever will happen in this state should happen.”

Their walk to the state assembly complex was however halted by the Police perhaps to forestall any breakdown of law and order.

APC candidate in Ogu Bolo constituency in the legislative rerun, Maureen Tamuno said that they decided to back off for now from the protest for the sake of peace

“We decided to retreat from the protest. And we are calling on the Governor of Rivers state to allow the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly to swear in our honourable members. We are calling on them to respect the rule of law, this is not a military regime.

“We are aware that you also know that there are five members who won the election on the platform of the PDP, the President did not stop Dogara from swearing them in, and they are representing their constituencies in the federal house.”

While the APC protest was going on, the situation with supporters of the PDP appeared tenser.

In an open confrontation, the Police engaged the protesters in an attempt to stop them from proceeding.

protester-shot
One person was shot in the leg

This led to the use of tear gas and live ammunition. One person was shot in the leg.

Channels Television’s camera man was also attacked during the chaos and has been receiving treatment in a hospital in Port Harcourt.

He was reportedly hit with a gun by the Police.

‘You Are One Of Us’

The protesters later broke through Police resistance to the House of Assembly complex but were resisted by more determined security operatives.

The Publicity Secretary of the PDP and leader of the protest, in his address said his people were determined to show their solidarity for the Speaker and Rivers state government.

“We the youths of Rivers state are determined to embark on this victory march to show that we are happy with the leadership of the assembly, that we are excited with your leadership as the Speaker of the Rivers state House of Assembly because you are one of us.

Speaker, Adams Dabotorudima,
Speaker, Adams Dabotorudima

“This is the first time in the history of the House that we have a Speaker that is one of us. You will remember two years ago when the pharaoh of the state who is no more here came and closed down the assembly and took it to government house.

“We are also happy with our leader the Governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike, who promised that from day one he will take the Assembly from government house back to the legislative house where Rivers people voted them to do their legislative duties.”

In his address, the Speaker, Adams Dabotorudima, thanked the crowd for displaying maturity and refusing to fight back when the Police attacked them.

“I want to thank you for showing maturity in the face of provocation, I thank you that you did not take laws into your hands otherwise we have what it takes to match them fire for fire, hand for hand.

“But next time, let the CP take this message to those who sent them that next time anybody who will come to Rivers state to try and cause trouble, we believe the law will take its cause. The primary responsibility of any government is to protect lives and property and we are happy that lives and property are being protected in the state, unlike before when people were being killed on the streets under the previous administration.

“We are making good laws and we will continue to make good laws that will impact on the lives of our people.”

Brutalized By Police

channels-tv-cameraman-attacked
Channels TV cameraman, Ekikere Udom

Channels Television’s cameraman Ekikere Udom who spoke from his hospital bed recounted how he was brutalized by the Police.

“I was doing my work when a group of policemen came around me and asked me to stop recording and started beating me up. I tried to show them my ID card, but they continued.

“After the beating, while I was trying to recover myself, another officer came and hit me on my rib with the tip of the gun and I fell. They hit my camera and seized it and my bag. I had to manage my way out of there.”

Police React

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Francis Odesanya, has reacted to the circumstances surrounding the protests of the APC and the PDP.

According to him, when he received credible information that the PDP was to visit the Speaker of the State House of Assembly same day that the APC had obtained official permission to take a protest letter to the same speaker, he had advised party leaders to shelve plans to a later date but his advice was not heeded.

The CP said that those responsible for the attack on the Channels Television cameraman would be fished out.

Wike Says Illegal Printing of INEC Materials Must Be Investigated

Wike Says Illegal Printing of INEC Materials Must Be Investigated, Election MaterialsThe Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has raised an alarm over what he described as a calculated ploy to sweep under the carpet, the recent discovery of an office where INEC materials were being printed.

The Governor expressed his worry in a meeting with journalists in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

According to him, the matter had been moved to another zonal command of the Police (Zone 6) and this, he says may jeopardise investigation.

Governor Wike called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to use this opportunity to reaffirm its credibility which he thinks has been threatened by inconclusive elections and to ensure that Rivers state do not get into an avoidable crisis.

He said: “It is our belief that INEC will do everything possible to get to the root of the matter and will tell the Police ‘no, you cannot kill this matter, it touches on our credibility’.

“Mere denial is not enough. If you look at the code on the prints, you will see the units where election will be conducted when we are not even aware, how did they know. When people say it was a setup, a set up where?

“As I said we have been following this matter and we were waiting for the right time to strike.”

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Francis Odesanya, told Channels Television that the matter was still under his office and that it was yet to be transferred.

He admitted that the matter could be transferred later because it is a federal case but insisted that that will not jeopardise investigations.

 

Rivers Re-Run Polls: PDP Accuses APC Of Printing Electoral Materials

APC, PDP, Plateau Politics, Deputy SpeakerA group of persons have been caught by security operatives printing sensitive electoral materials in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The materials which were caught on camera include result sheets and other documents with the prints of the all progressives congress.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state has accused the All Progressive Congress (APC) of running a syndicate to produce electoral materials ahead of the rerun.

This happened at number 12 Isiokpo street d line, Port Harcourt, Rivers State when security operatives on a tip off stormed the office and found sensitive electoral materials, prints of the APC and busy computers.

On interrogation by security operatives outside, the head of the printing outfit, Atonye Peterside says he was contracted to print these materials like it is with any other printing job.

” I am a printer, somebody brought these materials and said they want to use it for tribunal matter, Emma Chinda brought them that they need more copies… And you know we serve the public, I don’t work for”.

The Governor of the state, Nyesom Wike has accused the APC of running a syndicate for printing INEC sensitive materials to perpetuate electoral fraud ahead of the legislative polls.

But the Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Chris Finebone believes this is a script put together by the PDP. According to him, the persons in this matter are not known by the party.

He said, “The idea is to go contrive something maybe electoral materials and plant somewhere to take out some persons so that you will have a freeway in the election.

“We have heard confessional statements of things that never happened…and from what we know the individuals they paraded as members of the APC are not known to us, it was contrived.”

While confirming the arrest, the Commissioner of Police, Francis Odesanya informed Channels Television that investigations are ongoing and an official statement will be presented soon.

Some observers are hopeful that another crisis will not impede the December 10 date for the conduct of the polls

Wike Accuses Police, DSS Of Trying To Abduct A Judge

Nyesom Wike, Police, DSS, JudgeRivers State Governor has accused the police and the Department of State Services (DSS) of trying to abduct a serving Federal High Court judge in his residence at number 35, Forces Avenue in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

The State Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, on getting wind of the incidence, went to the residence of the judge with the aim of averting the arrest.

A statement issued by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, said the security operatives were angered by the governor’s arrival at the scene shortly after the process began.

The statement adds that the security operatives blocked the entrance of the residence of the judge at about 1:00am on Saturday, claiming that they were acting on orders from above.

The Rivers State Police Commissioner, Francis Odesanya, however, said that the two security agencies were at the scene because they received privileged information.

Mr Odesanya added that he was at the scene as a peacemaker.

Governor Wike Narrates The Situation 

Meanwhile, the Governor narrating the situation to newsmen in the state said, “It appeared to be an attempt to kidnap some people, so I told my security details to arrange security for us to move to the place.

“We got here 10 minutes after 1:00 am, and saw some security agencies, I asked what was  going on and the security official said they were detailed to arrest a judge.

” I said it is never heard that by 1:00am (after one), you are here to arrest a judge when you could as well invite the judge.

“If you cannot reach the judge whoever the judge is, invite the judge through the Chief Judge and obviously, the judge must have to respond to your invitation”.

The Governor stated that it will not be appropriate to arrest a judge at an odd hour when he has not been declared as a criminal but invited to have a chat which they said was the motive of the arrest.

He insisted that the judge must be invited in the morning to come for the chat, “I said okay, why not in the morning invite the judge to come whoever the judge is?


“And they insisted that by the order they have that they are directed to pick the judge and bring the judge over.

“I said well, as the Chief Security Officer, if I cannot at this moment say look, it is not possible and let us see a way that we can do things the more civilized way, this is democracy, this is not military government.

“If as a governor of a state you cannot respect and say okay, now that the governor as the Chief Security Officer (as they said) has advised that they should invite the judge to come whoever the judge is, then something is wrong”,

The governor further added that such act portends danger to our democracy and “under a democratic government, it’s not allowed, the rule of law must always take its place”.

He noted that there are things to be done in a more decent way to assure people of their protection in a democratic dispensation, he referred to the incident as “unfortunate”