191 views | Kenechukwu Ofomah | July 17, 2020
The Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) on Friday called on the Inspector General of Police to order an investigation into the police invasion of the residence of a former Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Joy Nunieh.
Yesterday, a video surfaced online, of Police officers attempting to break into the residence of former acting NDDC MD, without any warrant, before they were stopped by the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.
Wike had revealed that the operation was carried out by police officers from the Inspector General of Police Monitoring Unit.
The motive of the invasion and desperation exhibited in the attempt to arrest the former NDDC MD makes the whole operation suspicious, considering that she was supposed to testify same day, before the House of Representatives Committee investigating corruption in NDDC.
The former NDDC Boss has been embroiled with Mr. Godswill Akpabio, former governor of Akwa Ibom State and current Minister of the Niger Delta supervising the NDDC.
Akpabio had sacked Nunieh as Acting Managing Director of the NDDC under controversial circumstances and the two have engaged each other in allegations and counter-allegations over massive corruption at the NDDC, with Nunieh levelling serious, damaging allegations against Minister Akpabio of both corruption and sexual molestation, which Akpabio denies.
In an exclusive interview with the Executive Director of RULAAC, Okey Nwanguma on Friday, he said the act of invasion and attempt at forceful entry, without a warrant, is barbaric, illegal and condemnable, adding that the manner of the operation was unprofessional and unbecoming of any trained, law-abiding and civilized police operative.
He regretted how without any prior invitation for any stated offence or reason, and without any warrant of arrest or entry, as required under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, the Policemen stormed and surrounded the residence of the former NDDC Director in a commando fashion and sought to break in when she refused to open.
“We are even the more perplexed by the revelation by the Rivers State Governor that the Rivers State Commissioner of Police was not aware of the operation. How could any police unit or team come into a state to carry out an arrest without the knowledge of the commissioner of police or even the local police authorities in that state? It is unprocedural.
“Even if the Inspector-General of Police ordered the arrest, a fact that is not yet established, the team is still expected to document with the state headquarters, otherwise, anything they do would be illegal,” he said.
Nwanguma also berated the activities of some extra-legal units created by the Inspector-General of Police which he claimed, regard themselves as answerable only to the IGP and operate without control and accountability, subverting the due process.
According to him, these units often tend to dabble into politics and offer themselves as willing tools in the hands of self-serving politicians to settle political scores.
“The ongoing reorganization being carried out by IGP Adamu Mohammed which has seen to the disbandment of the satellite bases of the IRT and STS should equally extend to the IGP Monitoring Unit. They are as notorious, lawless and reckless as these other units in the way they operate in the various states.
“We call for an investigation to uncover the motive behind this barbaric action of the police team that invaded the residence of Joy Nunieh. All the officers involved must be identified and punished,” RULAAC maintained.