Pressure Mounts For Prosecution Of Pro-Amaechi Lawmakers

•Law-enforcement agents analyse video clips of fracas

•Surveillance intensified around oil installations

Powerful forces with vested interests in the political logjam in Rivers State are pushing hard for the prosecution of pro-Amaechi members of the State House of Assembly over last week’s fracas on the floor of the legislature, The Nation on Sunday can now reveal.

The first step, according to sources, is the planned arrest of the lawmakers for interrogation.

Personnel of the Police and the State Security Service (SSS) perceived to have stepped out of official line may also be swept away in the aftermath of the fracas, triggered by the invasion of the Assembly by the five suspended anti-Amaechi legislators and thugs.

The fracas was recorded on video with some security officers caught throwing punches. Security agencies in Abuja are currently reviewing and analysing the video clips.

The aim is to identify who did what while the trouble lasted, with a view to deciding who to take in for questioning and possible prosecution.

Sources said preliminary analysis of the clips informed the invitation of Amaechi’s Aide-de-Camp (ADC) and Chief Security Officer (CSO) by the Police and SSS authorities in Abuja for explanation on the role they are believed to have played during the fracas.

A Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Philemon Leha, has already been appointed as chairman of a panel by the police authorities to investigate the brawl.

A source said: “I think some Rivers lawmakers might be arrested for interrogation and possible prosecution. The police and other security agencies are already studying the video clips and isolating those to be quizzed. Already, some policemen and security agents are facing intra-disciplinary interrogation over the fracas.”

It was suggested that the ongoing probe might be targeted at pro-Amaechi lawmakers.

A third source added: “As a matter of fact, some forces in Abuja are already pushing for the arrest of the Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Chidi Lloyds, who is currently hospitalised.

“They are accusing Lloyds as the mastermind because he had been their target all along having made the impeachment of the Speaker impossible. But pro-Amaechi lawmakers also have evidence of how they were first attacked by some of their colleagues and why they acted in self defence.”

The stalemate in the state has also forced security agencies to beef up surveillance around oil installations and put them on alert to avert turning the crisis to what happened in Egypt.

Investigation by our correspondent revealed that intelligence report cautioned that oil installations in the state might be targeted by some disgruntled elements using the crisis as a cover-up.

It was gathered that the government does not want oil thieves to take undue advantage of the situation to strike at oil installations.

According to records made available by Amaechi in a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, Rivers State is “the largest on-shore oil producing State and the headquarters of Nigeria’s hydro- carbon industry.

“It is also home to Nigeria’s only Oil and Gas Free Zone as well as several off- shore oil and gas fields. In addition, Rivers State hosts multinational Oil and Gas Companies, Shell Petroleum Development Co (SPDC), MOBIL, AGIP, CHEVRON and many others.”A top security source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Both the military and other security agencies have been directed to enhance security in all oil and gas fields in the state.”

The source added that the increased surveillance was borne out of the need to protect the nation’s oil fields from being hurt by vengeance-seeking and desperate politicians.

Culled from The Nation.

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