Port Harcourt — Two movie producers, Samuel Bobmanuel and Justice Nwiigbara are protesting their arrest and detention by the Rivers State Police Command who labelled them as kidnappers after wooden guns were found on them.
This is despite the revelation by a lecturer with the department of theatre arts, Federal College of Education Technical, Omoku, Diepreye Precious that he gave the duo the wooden guns which they intended to use for their movie production.
The parading of the duo by the commissioner of police, Joseph Mukan, on Thursday, in Port Harcourt sparked protests as they maintained their innocence.
Samuel Bobmanuel, a 21-year-old indigene of Oroni in Akwa Ibom state and Justice Nwillgbara, a 25-year-old indigene of Banni in Khana LGA of Rivers state began shouting immediately the CP called them notorious kidnappers who were on a kidnap mission at Rumuosi before they were arrested with the carved wooden guns.
Their protests forced the CP to abruptly end the press briefing.
Bobmanuel told newsmen that the men of Anti-kidnapping unit of Miniokoro Police Station arrested his colleague, Mr Nwiigbara at Rumuosi during a stop and search operation and confiscated his cell phone.
He added that the Police saw the picture of NwiIIgbara with carved wooden AK 47 riffle and started interrogating him, stressing that his colleague told the Police he was into film production, prompting the police to bring his colleague to their office, Lavanz Film Academy opposite whiz oil at Rumuosi.
He explained further that the Police arrested him and took all the carved wooden guns they used in producing a recent film ‘shooting spree’ to their station.
According to him: “I pleaded with them to allow me to call my lecturer who owns the carved wooden guns to bring the license but the Police refused and took me to a place where they snapped us with the carved wooden guns and threw us inside their cell.
“When I wanted to start the film production, I approached Choba DPO to give us a real gun but he declined, saying we cannot use real guns.
“I approached one of my lecturers since I am a student of theatre art and he gave me his own carved wooden guns and promised to bring the licence if Police ask of it “.
The suspects regretted that the Police officers who arrested them at 4 PM on Wednesday confiscated their phones and refused to allow them to call the theatre art lecturer who owns the carved wooden guns.
But speaking on Friday, the Lecturer told RevelationAgents that he constructed the wooden guns himself and maintained that the movie producers do not need any license from the Police since they are not real guns but a carved wood that looks like guns which they are using for movie production. He said they only need their ID as ACTING ACADEMIA.
The lecturer who is a member of the National Association of Theater Arts Practitioner of Nigeria and also their Technical personnel in Port Harcourt branch said he will stand by the movie producers.