Rivers crisis: CP Mbu departs with curious gift
The immediate past Rivers State Police Commissioner, Mr.Joseph Mbu, departed Port Harcourt during the week trailed by a fresh controversy. He is believed to have released from police custody six suspected thugs with alleged links to PDP chieftains in the state. The suspects were arrested at Ogu in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area of the state on January 3 with arms by operatives of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta. They were subsequently handed over to the police. Found on Sunday Elisha, Uche Jenikachi, Ibinabo Lawson, Okechukwu Okoro, Jerry Tonye and Daniel Ibito-Anga, according to the JTF spokesman, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, were seven AK-47 rifles, 164 rounds of ammunition and six locally made canon launchers. The purported release of the suspects is generating ripples in the state. However, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Ahmad Muhammad, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), denied last night that the suspects had been released. “This is just another facet of the campaign of calumny against the Command. It is not true. It is misleading. The suspects are still in police custody, while investigation continues. I am challenging anybody who originated this misleading story to show his proof to the world,” he said. Mbu’s tenure was marked by incessant clashes with Governor Rotimi Amaechi who accused the Police Commissioner of taking sides with his political opponents, especially President Goodluck Jonathan, the First Lady,Dame Patience and the Minister of State for Education,Mr.Nyesom Wike,in the crisis in the state. Wike is favoured by the Presidency to fly the governorship flag of the PDP in the state next year. Mbu stopped members of the State House of Assembly most of whom are backing the governor from sitting. His excuse was last year’s mayhem on the floor of the House when the minority members supporting Wike sought to remove Speaker Otelemaba Amachree and replace him with Bipi Evans, an associate of Mrs.Jonathan. Evans denied that the suspected thugs, said to have been released by Mbu on the eve of his departure from Rivers, were working for him or Senator George Sekibo. He dismissed any such suggestion as a dangerous political gimmick targeted at opponents of the state government. Mr.Mbu was moved to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the same capacity of commissioner. He has been replaced in Port Harcourt by Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin,who until now headed the Special Fraud Investigations Unit in Lagos. Reacting to Mbu’s redeployment from Rivers State yesterday, the President of the pro-Amaechi Save Rivers Movement (SRM), Charles Aholu, a legal practitioner, said that Mbu would be remembered for rascality, partisanship and trampling on the rights of Rivers people. He said: “Mbu ’s redeployment from Rivers State to Abuja is a victory for democracy. Mbu will be remembered for the rascality he perpetrated on the psyche of Rivers people. He will be remembered as the only cop that has worn a very clear apparel of partisanship, when it comes to policing. “Mbu will also be remembered for trampling on the rights of Rivers citizens and for us, these are not good remarks. “The incoming CP (Johnson Tunde Ogunsakin) should not make the mistakes that Mbu made. We will expect him to be professional in his approach. We believe that he will be professional.” The Secretary of the PDP in the state,Mr. Ibibia Walter, did not share Aholu’s view on Mbu,saying the Police Commissioner was being professional in the performance of his duties in the state. He said Mbu’s only offence was that he refused to dance to the tunes of the powers that be in the state. His words: “ Mbu was accused of protecting the PDP by Governor Rotimi Amaechi and the APC’s leaders, who found it difficult to pocket Mbu, who showed so much professionalism. “That is why he (Mbu) has been deployed to a higher challenge. The incoming CP must also show professionalism.” The member of the House of Representative from Andoni- Opobo/Nkoro, Mr. Dakuku Peterside, said that Nigeria needs policemen who would be impartial, fair to all and protect lives and property, stressing that Rivers people were not excited about the new CP. “We must do something fundamental to stop the lawlessness that pervades the land. Until we stop the lawlessness, there is no hope for our people. Our people will take their destiny in the own hands. They will stop this impunity with their votes. February 2015 is by the corner. “Our people are tired of this lawlessness and impunity. They will use their votes to stop this madness. “Whether Mbu comes or Mbu goes is immaterial. The Nigeria police should keep themselves to their constitutionally- guaranteed duties of enforcement of law and order. Whether it is Mr. White or Mr. John, we are not excited. “What we want to see is that the police force must be impartial, must be fair to all manner of people, protect lives and property and ensure the maintenance of law and order. That will be our ultimate joy and will be the ultimate joy of our people.”
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