Fracas: Police detain Rivers Assembly majority leader • Senate panel proposes takeover of Assembly



Mr. Chidi Lloyd

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.”


Leave A Reply