In continuation of its investigation into the Rivers State House of Assembly crisis, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar has summoned the leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Chidi Lloyd, the Aide-De-Camp (ADC) to the Rivers State Governor, Ag.ASP Debeware-Semeikumo, and the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the Governor, Tony Iwelu to report to Force CID, Force Headquarters, Abuja for an interview in respect of their roles as seen in the video clips in circulation.
It would be recalled that in the video clips, a man carrying a mace and another in Police Uniform as well as other security details were seen conducting themselves in a questionable and uncomplimentary manner. The invitation therefore seeks to obtain further details that will assist proper investigation into the matter, Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba stated Wednesday night.
He said the IGP has reminded Police personnel on various legitimate assignments particularly those attached to VIPs to always remain mindful of their conduct and ensure that they uphold the professional ethics, traditions and best practices of the Force at all times. He further warns that any officer found acting in ways inconsistent with extant laws and regulations of the Force will be severely dealt with in accordance with the laws of the land.
In a related development, the Nigeria Police Force, in the light of emerging security challenges in parts of the country, especially the unfolding saga in Rivers State, has warned warns all citizens against constituting themselves into or being part of an unlawful assembly in any part of the country.
Mba said the Force has also observed with dismay, the attitudes of some Nigerians who have chosen the nation’s Airports as points of congregating their followers. These assemblies do not only constitute nuisance to the Air Port environment but are also a threat to the security of both genuine travelers and the Airport authority.
“Citizens are reminded that Airports all over the world are regarded as “restricted areas” and as such are traditionally shielded from unnecessary intrusion. The Force will not hesitate from the date of this statement, to bring the full weight of extant laws on persons found forming or being part of an unlawful assembly, especially riotous assemblies.
“The Force is very much aware and not unmindful of the fundamental rights of citizens particularly their rights to “freedom of expression” “peaceful assembly and association”, “freedom of movement” among others as provided for in chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended); and is duty bound to respect and protect them.
“However, citizens are reminded that these rights and freedom must be enjoyed within the bounds of the law. Therefore, all assemblies must be peaceful, lawful and must not be intentionally contrived to provoke or abridge the rights of other citizens. The Force will not fold its arms and watch some persons or group of persons tear-down the bond of the country’s unity. The Force wishes to remind Nigerians that the laws on Unlawful and Riotous Assembly as provided for in our Criminal and Penal Laws are still in Force.
“The Force further cautions against the unnecessary use of unguarded, inflammatory and provocative statements capable of promoting hatred and disunity among Nigerians. Citizens should at all times, in the exercise of their rights, be cautious of the likely consequences of their actions and avoid acts inimical to the well-being of the Nation.
“The Nigeria Police Force has a constitutional responsibility of ensuring not just the security of citizens, but to promote the unity and indivisibility of our dear country. It will therefore do all within its ability to ensure that the country remains secure, peaceful and indivisible. Nigerians of all facets of life are advised to close ranks and unite to sustain the nation’s nascent and growing democracy. The Force enjoins citizens to shun all forms of violence and unlawful acts, eschew bitterness, hatred and rancor and go about their legitimate duties without fear of intimidation from any quarter.
“The Police High Command uses this medium to reassure Nigerians of the willingness of the Force to discharge its constitutional and statutory responsibilities, but appeals for the cooperation and understanding of the good people of Nigeria,” Deputy Force PRO stated.