Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The Rivers State Government has declared its support for moves to challenge the dismissal of Six Policemen attached to the state Governor, Nyesom Wike. The policemen were said to have accompanied the Governor to the INEC Collation Centre in Port Harcourt City during the December 10 rerun election.
Governor Wike gave the hint about the plan to challenge the Police authorities through Chris Itamunola,a Lawyer and his Special Adviser on Inter-Party affairs. Itamunola told a Port Harcourt based radio station,Info fm 92.3 that the dismissal of the Six Policemen by the Nigeria Police Force was wrong and illegal as they were just doing their legitimate duties of protecting their boss by accompanying him to wherever he was going.
Itamunola,a vocal Legal practitioner before his appointment condemned the dismissal of the Six Policemen as wrongful carriage of justice which would be reversed.
In the same vein, the first official reaction of the state Government issued by Dr Austin Tam George, Commissioner for Information and Communications rejected the dismissal.
According to the state Government, the Policemen cannot be sacked for carrying out their legitimate duties. He was optimistic that the dismissal would be upturned after the legal challenge in the law court.
The state Government said it notes with infinite sadness the decision of the Nigeria Police to dismiss six police officers attached to governor Nyesom Wike. The police officers were subjected to a secret and unfair trial, on totally fictitious charges of professional misconduct, during the rerun elections in Rivers State on the 10th of December 2016.
“This is a tragic day for professionalism and the respect for human rights in the
Nigeria police force. The dismissed officers committed no crime, other than foil a carefully orchestrated electoral heist by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in collusion with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Nigeria Police force.
“The claim by the Police that the affected officers misused their firearms while in the convoy of governor Wike on the 10th of December 2016, is a wrong and cruel fabrication. Governor Wike did not depart from his official premises on the day of the election, and therefore had no use for an armed convoy.
“Two days after the elections, on the 12th of December 2016, thousands of Rivers people, led by Governor Wike, resisted an invasion by the Police on the
premises of the Port Harcourt City Local Government Council premises, in a brazen attempt to rig the elections in favour of the APC.
“The Port Harcourt City Council was the Election Collation Centre for the Rivers
East Senatorial District.
Throughout the period of the stand off between the invading police officers
and the thousands of citizens who resisted them, Governor Wike and the officers around him conducted themselves with utmost restraint. The dismissed officers are therefore the latest victims of the medieval dictatorship of the APC government. A government that seems to lurch blindly in the miasma of its own incompetence and intolerance.
“We urge Nigerians to demand the immediate reinstatement of these officers, and for the Inspector General of Police to allow an independent inquiry.
The APC government has never hidden it’s desperation to overrun Rivers State,
“colonize” its people and loot the treasury of the State.
But the Rivers people will continue to resist all attempts to enslave them.