Amaechi, Mbu Trade Words over Arrest of Hon. Chidi Lloyd
The Rivers State Government and the Rivers State Police Command are on another collision course over the arrest of Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Chidi Julius Lloyd for allegedly murdering his relative, Mr. Kingsley Ejeuo, and Police Sergeant Urang Obediah.
According to the Police, Lloyd knocked down Obediah with his car while pursuing Ejeuo, who is known to be his political opponent. Lloyd has therefore been arrested and detained.
'The Rivers State Police Command has arrested Hon. Chidi Llyod of the Rivers State House of Assembly for murder of police Sgt. Urang Obediah and Mr. Kingsley Ejeuo, his kinsman and arch political opponent', Public Relations Officer of the Rivers State Police command, Mr. Ahmad Mohammad wrote in a statement.
'He was arrested on his way to join Governor Amaechi Rotimi in his private jet at the Air Force base to escape justice. Hon. Chidi Lloyd on 30th December 2013, while pursing his political opponent, knocked down Sgt. Urang Obediah. In spite of his [Obediah's] effort to stop him, [Lloyd] rammed and killed him and went ahead to crush the Passat car Mr. Kingsley Ejeuo was driving and killed him'.
According to the statement, the initial thought of the Police was that the tragedy was a mere accident, an act of manslaughter, but when the commissioner of police directed ACP Aliyu Garba, the area commander metro, to visit him in his hospital bed and commiserate with him, Chidi Lloyd, conscious of his crime, relocated to another hospital.
'Facts emerged that Chidi Lloyd drove a bullet-proof vehicle while pursuing his political opponent, late Mr. Kingsley Ejeuo, and he (Lloyd) knocked down Sgt. Urang Obediah, who died on the spot and (Lloyd) moved ahead to smash a political opponent in his Passat car who equally died instantly,' the statement continued, adding that the late Ejeuo, who hailed from the same place as Lloyd, was believed to be in the PDP camp led by Mr. Felix Obuah, and further accusing Lloyd of escaping from the hospital where he was being guarded by four policemen.
But in a quick reaction, the Rivers State Government rebutted the claims of the Police, describing them as 'a bundle of lies' and another attempt to hoodwink the public and discredit Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
'The Rivers State Police Command has released a completely distorted and untrue account of the circumstances surrounding the arrest of Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Chidi Lloyd on 2nd January 2014', David Iyofor, chief press secretary to the Rivers State Governor wrote in a counter-release, which also denied the Police's claim that Amaechi operates a private jet aboard which Lloyd sought to escape.
'Governor Amaechi has no private plane or jet as claimed by the Police and Hon. Lloyd was nowhere near the plane that took the governor from Port Harcourt to Abuja,' Iyofor wrote.
'The Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi was about to leave for Abuja when he was informed that Rivers State Police Commissioner Mbu Joseph Mbu had ordered that the plane (which is not the governor's private jet, as claimed by the Police) could not leave Port Harcourt because Hon. Lloyd was in the plane and about to 'escape' with Governor Amaechi. Shocked (at the report), several calls were put across to CP Mbu that were not answered'.
'CP Mbu later showed up and when the governor asked him, he denied giving such an order. He then went on and on, making a baseless, noisy argument that no one could comprehend'.
Mbu's claims that the governor abused him were also debunked by Iyofor, who expressed little surprise by the claim, considering that Mbu once branded the governor a dictator.
'Mbu keeps disrespecting the Office of the Governor of Rivers State. At no time did Governor Amaechi abuse him', Iyofor said.
'While conducting a search on the flight, which he had ordered to be detained, Governor Amaechi put it to him that he (Mbu) came to search the plane for Chidi Lloyd and told him to go ahead and search the plane. Mbu continued talking endlessly, showing absolutely no respect or regard for the office of the Governor of Rivers State who is the Chief Security Officer of the State.
'Governor Amaechi then called the inspector-general (IG) of police. While the governor was speaking with the IG on phone, CP Mbu was shouting at the governor, on top of his voice, trying to disrupt the conversation between the governor and the IG to the shock and disbelief of those that were there'.
Iyofor added that it was when Amaechi arrived at Abuja later on Thursday evening that he was informed of Lloyd's arrest in his (Lloyd's) house in the presence of his family and lawyer.
Both sides of the divide have been making contradictory statements, the Police and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) faction led by Felix Obuah and loyal to Nyesom Wike describing the deaths as premeditated, while those on the governor's have described it as unfortunate accidents that should not be given political colouration.
'Chidi Lloyd is animalistic. The man he killed is a member of the PDP', Special Adviser on Media to Obuah, Mr. Jerry Needam said afterwards on radio. 'As I speak with you, we are on our way to the man's family. The man refused to cross over with them to the APC'.
Jerry Needam subsequently released a statement, claiming that the Rivers State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had uncovered a plot by Amaechi to use an Ahoada High Court Judge, Honourable Justice Charles N. Wali to obtain all manner of orders to free Llyod and subvert the course of justice.
He maintained that the 'deliberate, premeditated and calculated' actions of Lloyd on 30th December 2013 sent the two victims to their early grave. He also noted that Lloyd is currently standing trial for another attempted murder, this time of his colleague, Hon Michael Chinda representing Obio/Akpor Constituency 2 in the Rivers State House of Assembly.
'It is regrettable that, once again, the government of Rivers State, particularly its head, Governor Rotimi Amaechi would be in the lead in assisting Mr. Chidi Lloyd to evade justice', Needam wrote.
'We are aware from information available to us and interview granted by Governor Amaechi's Chief Press Secretary, Mr David Iyofor that government is turning to 'their lawyers' to sort out the matters concerning a suspected felony. The death of citizens of Nigeria means nothing to the governor of Rivers State.
'Each time this kind of statement was made in the past concerning Mr Chidi Llyod's previous criminal acts, it meant going to High Court Ahoada presided over by Honourable Justice Charles N. Wali to obtain all manner of orders to free Mr Chidi Lloyd and subvert the course of justice'.
He reiterated the party's respect for the integrity of the Rivers State Judiciary, but also expressed full awareness that the Ahoada High Court, as currently constituted, is nothing other than a ministerial department of the Rivers State Governor's office.
'In the circumstance, we inform the people of Rivers State that we, as a responsible political party, shall not watch with our hands folded, sit back and watch as the governor of Rivers State once again subverts the course of justice to save his Chief Political Thug, Mr Chidi Lloyd', the statement continued.
'We state without equivocation that we shall seek justice for Mr Kingsley Ejiohuo, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), whom Mr Chidi Lloyd callously killed. We shall also seek justice for Police Officer, Obadiah Urang whom Mr Chidi Lloyd also mindlessly killed.
'Furthermore, we shall also seek justice for others mindlessly injured and maimed by Mr Chidi Lloyd. We warn Honourable Justice Charles N. Wali who has clearly shown his political stance to keep completely off this matter. Finally, the PDP hereby extends its condolence to the families of all those killed or injured by the deliberate action of Mr Chidi Lloyd'.