3rd September, 2013
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Barely 72 hours after Governor Chibuike Amaechi and other Governors joined a breakaway faction of the Peoples Democratic Party,the Rivers Police Command has gone on the offensive by declaring the Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, Debeware Semeikumo, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), a deserter.
The police had declared Semeikumo wanted in connection with the 9 July fracas in the state House of Assembly.
The Rivers Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, had also removed Semeikumo as the ADC to Amaechi.
In a swift reaction however, the Rivers State Government, through the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, described the police’s action as another mischief.
Amaechi’s administration also stated that the Rivers police command was aware that Semeikumo sustained injuries and had been away for medical treatment.
But Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP, Administration), Augustine Sanomi, speaking on behalf of Mbu declared Semeikumo’s deserter.
The Rivers police commissioner stressed that the ADC to Rivers governor was declared a deserter, following his alleged failure to honour all lawful directives to see him and the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, since July 10, 2013.
Mbu said: “The decision to declare Semeikumo a deserter followed Section 398 (1) of the Police Act and the Regulation Cap 359 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.
“The whereabouts of Semeikumo remain unknown to the police. IGP Abubakar has approved his declaration as a deserter.”
The Leader of the Rivers Assembly, Chidi Lloyd, a lawyer, who represents Emohua constituency, was on July 17 declared wanted by Mbu for attempted murder, conspiracy, wounding and wilful damage, over the July 9 fracas.
The IGP later invited Lloyd, the ADC to Amaechi and the Chief Security Officer (CSO), Tony Iwelu. The ADC and CSO are yet to honour the invitation.
Lloyd, who honoured the IGP’s invitation in Abuja, was detained at the Force Headquarters for four days. He was moved to Port Harcourt following outcry by human rights groups and later charged to court.He was later granted bail after the State Attorney-General, Worgu Boms stepped in and took over the case as required by law.
Lloyd, 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 Michael Okechukwu Chinda (Obio/Akpor 11), who is still receiving treatment in London.
The five anti-Amaechi lawmakers: Chinda, Evans Bipi (Ogu/Bolo), Kelechi Nwogu (Omuma), Martins Amaewhule (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 Rivers governor in 2015 were never arrested by the Police for illegally trying to impeach the leadership of the House.
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.
The Senate and the House of Representatives, in separate resolutions, also called for the immediate redeployment of the Rivers police commissioner, but the IGP later stated that Mbu had been told to be a professional police officer and would remain in Rivers state.
The National Assembly members are currently on recess and yet to take a decision on the IGP’s refusal to redeploy Mbu.