Rivers political crisis: ‘Presidency must not shield Bipi, Nwogu’



A Port Harcourt, Rivers State lawyer, Uche Okwukwu, has advised the Presidency not to shield the self-acclaimed “Speaker” of the Rivers House of Assembly, Evans Bipi, and another lawmaker, Kelechi Godspower Nwogu from the police probe of the Assembly fracas.

He described as unfair, Rivers police’s declaration of only the Leader of the House of Assembly, Chidi Lloyd, wanted for attempted murder, conspiracy, wounding and wilful damage in the fracas of July 9.

Okwukwu, said yesterday in Port Harcourt, the police must not take sides in the deepening political crisis .
Lloyd, a lawyer, who represents Emohua Constituency, during the exchange of blows in the main chambers of the Assembly, used a fake mace procured for the attempted impeachment of the Speaker, Otelemaba Dan Amachree, to hit the representative of the Obio/Akpor II Constituency, Michael Okechukwu Chinda.

The five anti-Amaechi lawmakers: Bipi, Nwogu, Chinda, Martins Amewhule (Obio/Akpor I) and Victor Ihunwo (Port Harcourt III) are loyal to the Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, who wants to be governor in 2015.

Wike, penultimate weekend, supervised the transfer to London of the injured Chinda, from a private hospital in Port Harcourt, where he was treated for three days, to ensure better treatment.
Lloyd, a loyalist of Amachree, stood firmly against his July 9 attempted impeachment and prevented Bipi from being forced on the Assembly as the speaker.

The Rivers Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Felix Obuah, a Wike acolyte, however, described the police declaration of Lloyd wanted over the attempted murder, as a welcome development.

Obuah also urged the police to invite and investigate the Governor of Rivers state, Rotimi Amaechi, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), for allegedly supervising the “show of shame” in the hallowed chambers of Rivers Assembly on July 9.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, also invited Lloyd; the Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to Amaechi, Debeware Semeikumo (ASP); and the Chief Security Officer (CSO), Tony Iwelu; but it was not clear as at press time, if the Assembly’s leader would honour the invitation.

Bipi was later hosted by President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House, Abuja and took time to interact with journalists, while insisting that he remained the “speaker” of the Rivers House of Assembly.

Okwukwu said: “I am surprised about the attitude of the police for declaring only Chidi Lloyd wanted, when it is very clear that Bipi and Nwogu were also deeply involved in the July 9 fracas on the floor of the Rivers House of Assembly.

“Bipi was proudly saying: ‘I blow Chidi Lloyd, I beat am, I kick am, I punch am, I box am very well,’ while Nwogu directed his security aides and thugs to shoot at Governor Amaechi on the floor of the Rivers House of Assembly. These are criminal offences.

“Bipi also attempted to seize a rifle from a policeman and struggle ensured between them in the House of Assembly. Police should also investigate it.”
The lawyer said the police’s investigation must not be one-sided but holistic, in order to get to the root of the matter, for peace to reign in Rivers state.

Okwukwu’s position was corroborated by a member of the Rivers House of Assembly, Victor Amadi, who represents Etche constituency 1 and the Rivers Commissioner for Information and Communications, Ibim Semenitari, who stated that Nwogu ordered that Amaechi be shot on floor of the Rivers Assembly.
Amadi added that Bipi slapped the duly-elected speaker (Amachree), after punching Lloyd.

The representative of Andoni-Opobo/Nkoro constituency of Rivers State in the House of Representatives, Dakuku Peterside, maintained that the ADC and the CSO to Amaechi were duty bound to protect the governor, whose life was threatened in Rivers Assembly.


Rivers Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, said Lloyd was declared wanted after he failed to respond to police invitation, which elapsed on July 16.


The nation
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