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Rivers INEC Commissioner escapes assassination

By George Onah

Port Harcourt— There was an attempt to assassinate or abduct Rivers State Commissioner for Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mr. Austin Okojie, at the Old GRA in Port Harcourt, Tuesday night, when five gunmen stormed his residence in search of him.

Two mobile policemen attached to him were disarmed and their AK47 riffles taken away by the gunmen, who ransacked the house, upturning everything suspected
to be able to shelter the man, while the gunmen kept informing a caller that “we have not got the commissioner yet.”

Another policeman was accidentally shot by his colleague on the foot at the premises of the commissioner’s home shortly after two vans of policemen were drafted to the place and the men started shooting sporadically to scare away the would-be assassins or kidnappers.

An aide of the commissioner who did not want his name in print, told Vanguard that the commissioner left his office at about 7.30 pm for his residence but was dropped off at an undisclosed location while the driver and the two police escorts took the car home.

“About 30 minutes later, a car arrived at the gate and four gunmen sprang out of the car ordering the two policemen, who were not carrying their guns, to lie down. Two of the hoodlums later forced their way into the compound demanding for the commissioner.

“At gunpoint, they ordered an aide in the house to take them into the house and show them where the commissioner was. They did not believe us when we told them that the commissioner was not at home, while they threatened to shoot us if we did not show them the commissioner.

“Satisfied that the man was not in the house, they removed the phones of everyone, including those of the policemen, who were lying face down and the gunmen placed their legs on the heads of the mobile policemen.”

Heavy security has, however, been mounted at the commissioner’s house, but Police PRO, Rita Inoma-Abbey (a DSP), could not be reached at press time, as several attempts to contact her on phone proved abortive.


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