* APC says plot thickens to rope in chieftains with violence charges
The protracted battle that started even before the 2015 elections to put behind bars two prominent leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has taken a new but dangerous turn for the APC chieftains.
The battle in Rivers State House of Assembly in the later days in office of the Gov Chibuike Amaechi led to arrest of the then majority leader, Chidi Lloyd on charges of attempted murder by the federally controlled police. The Amaechi state government exercised its powers and entered non-prosqui. Wne Gov Nyesom Wike took over power in Rivers State, they reinstated the case, but the federally controlled police now seems to be uninterested. The battle has raged on.
Pressing on, the Wike led administration has secured two bench warrants for Lloyd to be put in prison till next hearing from the High Court 19 in Port Harcourt. The judge, Chinwendu Nwogu issued the two bench warrants on Thursday following the absence of Lloyd and his counsels at the court.
The court ordered that Lloyd should be detained at the Port Harcourt Federal Prisons till the next adjourned dates which have been fixed in January 2019 for a case of attempted murder trial. Lloyd had gone on appeal against the trial.
The judge was however angry that the embattled former majority leader was expected to take his plea in two separate cases on Thursday. The matter was adjourned to 10th January, 2019 for the Police to produce Lloyd to take his plea.
Another APC chieftain Flag Ojukaye Amachree, then the opposition stalwart in Degema area, and now APC state chairman who was stopped by court order, may soon be on bench warrant, too. Amachree, who had posed a big obstacle to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015, and who was detained for long until the APC captured power at the centre, faces fresh efforts to get him into detention.
Amachree was also no in court on Thursday and the Rivers State Government moved for him to take his plea in his second murder trial before Joy N. Akpughunum. Following the absence of Amachree to take his plea on his second murder charge, the Court adjourned to January 24, 2018, for the Rivers APC chairman to take his plea.
In a related development, the APC in Rivers State said it has uncovered an ongoing plot by the state government to blackmail Lloyd and Flag-Amachree. “The plot which was hatched and being perfected in the office of the Chief of Staff involves the printing of APC logo on T-shirts and handing same to select Neighbourhood Watch recruits who will go to carry out protests and violence in some predetermined local government areas to give the impression that such protests are being carried out by APC youths over the ongoing persecution of Lloyd and Flag-Amachree by the Rivers State Government under Nyesom Wike.
“The ultimate objective of the plot is to inundate the local, national and international media with the false information purporting same to be the handiwork of APC. The governor and his people will then draw the attention of the public especially that of the diplomatic and international communities to a purported spate of violence by the APC in order to give the party and the federal government a bad name.”
The APC said it has no reason to embark on any exercise that would engender violence in Rivers State. “Any matters concerning Lloyd Flag-Amachree and indeed any other member of APC remain matters that will in due time be dispensed with by the court of law and not by any other means irrespective of the obvious sinister intentions of those behind such matters.”
The APC urged the Commissioner of Police in the state, the Inspector General of Police, and other security agencies to take particular notice of what is unraveling at the behest of state governor and act accordingly.