By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURTâ€”THE recent arrest of 12Â politicians alleged to be cultists by the Rivers State Police Command has been condemned by a faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state.
In a statement in Port Harcourt, Mr.Â Jeery Needam, a chieftain of the party in the state, questioned the rationale behind the arrest.
He said contrary to allegations that those arrested were cultists,Â they were members of the PDP, who were merely exercising their rights to freedom of association and expression.
The statement condemned the arrest and subsequent trial of the politicians. â€œWe question the motive of the police and security agencies in blindly arresting and prosecuting blameless citizens, who merely assembledÂ as permitted by law to chart their political future,” he said.
It will be recalled that those arrested had gathered at Ohaeto Street in Port Harcourt with a banner bearing the inscription, PDP state secretariat hung at the venue of their meeting. Mid way into the meeting, they were arrested by the state police command.
They were later arraigned in court over sundry offences some which included attempt to breach the peace of the state and cult related issues.