PORT HARCOURT – Chief of Staff to Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, Mr. Tony Okocha, has described the ban on political rallies by the state Police Commissioner, Mr Joseph Mbu, as a usurpation of the constitutional powers of the governor.
Okocha said the that Police Commissioner acted outside the bounds of his responsibilities, stressing that the Police boss should be checked before he declares a state of emergency in the state.
Condemning the ban, Okocha wondered why the Police boss should arrogate to himself powers he does not possess, stressing that the action was a violation of the law.
His words: “I condemn it in its entirety. I do not want to give to the Police the powers that they do not have. The issue of ban on rallies is within the purview of the governor of the state and such things are also within our inalienable rights; our freedom of association and others that ordinarily, every citizen of Nigeria must live with.
“Now, even when the governor has the power to so do, he has to do it within the law and that, of course, means that except the governor is satisfied that there are threats to the peace and security of the state, he can’t he do so, otherwise no other condition will warrant the governor to do that, not to talk of the Commissioner of Police. What powers is he arrogating to himself? “