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Bayelsa: Soldiers arrest policeman with dynamite

Posted by Soni Daniel and Bisi Olaniyi, Yenagoa on 2005/12/07 | Views: 323 |

Bayelsa: Soldiers arrest policeman with dynamite

A police officer with 150 cartons of dynamite was on Tuesday arrested by soldiers in front of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Yenagoa.

A police officer with 150 cartons of dynamite was on Tuesday arrested by soldiers in front of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Yenagoa.

The officer, whose name was given as Sergeant Effiong of the Bomb Disposal Unit, Benin, was immediately moved to the Warri base of the Joint Special Task Force in the Niger Delta.

The pick-up van in which he was carrying the cartons of dynamite was also transferred to Warri.

In a swift reaction, however, the Commissioner of Police, State Command, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, told journalists that the dynamite belonged to a Yenagoa-based construction company.He did not name the company.

According to Ringim, the police officer was escorting the pick-up van to the company’s office, when he was arrested.

He said that the officer in charge of the bomb disposal unit in the state had sent a message to him of the movement of the dynamite from Benin to Yenagoa, but the message did not reach him.

Ringim said, “If I had received information on the movement of the dynamite, I would have told the military commander about it and they would have organised a joint escort for the vehicle.”

The arrest of the police officer followed increased security surveillance in Yenagoa arising from unconfirmed reports that some people in the state were planning to bomb public property in protest against the travails of Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.

On Monday, explosives rocked the Port Harcourt residence of the former Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Heineken Lokpobiri.

Lokpobiri was one of those who attended the November 29, 2005 session of the Assembly, during which the members directed the state Chief Judge, Justice Emmanuel Igoniwari, to set up a committee to probe allegations of wrongdoing by Alamieyeseigha.

Initial reports had it that the dynamite were to be taken to the home of a retired Major in Yenagoa, who heads a government-owned task force and suspected to be sympathetic to one of the factions in the political crisis in the state.

The arrest of the policeman coincided with a plea by the governor to the panel investigating the allegations against him to have the interest of the state at heart in carrying out its task.

Alamieyeseigha said that his administration was yet to scrutinise and ascertain the background of the members to determine their affiliations, alliances and interests in the recent past.

The governor, in a statement by his acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Preye Wariowei, urged the panel members to remember that he had not been tried by any court of law for any offence and that the Federal Government and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission were merely framing him.

The governor said, “Our only hope is that, as sons and daughters of Bayelsa State who may be presumed to have the ultimate good of the land and people of the state at heart, they will conduct the assignment with greater interest of Bayelsa in mind.

“The least that is expected of them in discharging this onerous assignment, therefore, is for them to align their investigations and ultimately their recommendations to the ideals of fairness, equity and justice.

“It is only fit and proper that they remember that, in spite of the hue and cry over Alamieyeseigha saga in the media, and the orchestrated disenchantment of the public over the case, Alamieyeseigha has not been brought to any court or charged in Nigeria for any offence, let alone convicted.”

Meanwhile, the Majority Leader of the state’s House of Assembly, Mr. Steve Ereboh, has denied joining forces with a faction of the lawmakers to stop the inauguration of the panel.

Ereboh, in a one-page statement made available to our correspondents in Yenagoa on Tuesday, said it was not true that he had gone to court to stop the inauguration of the panel.

The PUNCH, Wednesday, December 07, 2005

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Comments (2)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown