CSOs accuse police of causing crisis in Rumuokwurusi, despite restraining court order


Brave Dickson

A coalition of civil society organizations in Rivers State has condemned in strong term an alleged attempt by the state police command to forment trouble in Rumuokwurusi in order to unlawfully dethrone the incumbent Chairman of the Town Council, Comrade Kingsley Ejekwu.

The coalition who disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists at a press conference in Port Harcourt described the action of the police and some forces within and outside Rumuokwurusi town council as illegal, undemocratic, saying that it was a calculated attempt to truncate the peace in the area.

The statement which was signed by the Executive Director, Justice Advocates Du Internationale, Barr Young Bassey; Executive Director, Human Rights Advocates, Barr Higher King; Executive Director, Legal for the International Society for Social Justice and Human Rights, Barr Paul Wwakwoala as well as the Executive Director, Electorates Rights Defence and Education Network, Comrade David Adejola also berated the CP’s monitoring team of the police over the arrest and detention of the Rumuokwurusi town council chairman.

The statement reads in parts, “that the action of the state commissioner of police through his monitoring team in the arrest and detention of the Rumuokwurusi Town Council Chairman, Ejekwu on May 8, 2019 and released same day via administrative bail is illegal and unlawful.

“That the disruption of the activities at the Oil Mill Market and collection of revenue by unauthorized persons, same day Comrade Ejekwu was arrested was a ploy to cart away the revenue of the town council from the market.”

You recalled that a magistrate court in suit number PMC/861/2018 had on May 7, 2019 issued the following order:

“That the state commissioner of police should ensure that the orders of the high court protecting the tenure of the office of the claimant, Kingsley Ejekwu is obeyed.

“That the 1st and 12th defendants, Chief Chigonum Ejekwu and Mr Nyeche Wehere and their agents are retrained from interfering with the tenure of the plaintiff, Kingsley Ejekwu pending the hearing of the motion on notice by this court.

“That the Nigeria Police including the state commissioner of police and every other police in the country are restrained from arresting the plaintiff and his executive until this matter is disposed off”.

The coalition, therefore, demanded that an open apology in the media be made by the state police boss to Comrade Kingsley Ejekwu, the people of Rumuokwurusi and the coalition within seven days of the news conference or faces claim of N500 million for damage.

And that all those involved in the illegal collection of revenue at the Oil Mill Market on the said day should return the monies and be brought to book to serve as deterrence to others.

All efforts by TPCN to speak with the state police image maker, Nnamdi Omoni proved abortive as he could not be reached through his phone number as at the time of filing in this report.