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Police Seal Off Pdp Convention Venue In Port Harcourt

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SAN FRANCISCO, August 17, (THEWILL) – The Sharks Stadium, Port Harcourt, Rivers State venue of Wednesday's National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has been taken over by armed mobile policemen as well as operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS.

No one was allowed to enter the facility, which is right beside the headquarters of the Rivers state police command, at Moscow Road in the city. Vehicles were not allowed to enter the street, while pedestrians were being questioned.

There are reports that policemen and other security operatives moved to the Sharks stadium at the old Port Harcourt Township as early as 4 am today, to prevent the breakdown of law and order.

Sharks stadium was ready last night, while the Outside Broadcasting, OB Vans of the Africa Independent Television, AIT, Channels Television and the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, were mounted Tuesday evening and early this morning, but the security men asked the teams to quickly vacate the stadium, while journalists who got to the venue as early as 6 o'clock in the morning were ordered to immediately leave the stadium.

Journalists, politicians and other persons who had already entered the stadium were ordered out by the security operatives, even though more newsmen and PDP members are, as at press time, still milling around the stadium to monitor developments.

On Tuesday, Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja, granted the prayers of factional National Chairman of the party, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, who sought to stop the exercise.

Abang ordered the suspension of the exercise, and directed the inspector-general of police to enforce the order.

However, Abang's judgement is at variance with Justice Ibrahim Watila of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, who held that the Ahmed Makarfi faction could go ahead with its convention as planned.