By Anayo Okoli
ABIA State police command, weekend, admitted that it ordered supporters of Chief Ikechi Emenike, a PDP governorship aspirant in the state, banned from entering into Umuahia, the state capital, to attend a political rally the politician organised to address his supporters, saying its action was for security reasons.
The police had attempted to stop the rally on the ground that no venue was approved for it and ordered its men in the outposts to stop bus loads of Emenike’s supporters from entering Umuahia to participate in the rally held last Wednesday.
This came as Emenike has called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, to immediately remove the Acting Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kings Omeire, who gave the order, alleging that he was being used by the state government against political opponents.
Speaking with journalists in Umuahia, the state Acting Police Commissioner, Kings Omeire, said the Emenike Campaign Organisation applied for permit to hold a rally which was approved by the police.
“But we found out that the campaign group failed to find out that the state government had already booked the same venue for another event,” he said.
According to Omeire, immediately the police found out that the planned venue had been booked for another event, “we informed him (Emenike) through his lawyer and told them to look for another venue, but they chose the open space, opposite the Ibeku High School, which we rejected for security reasons”.
He said if the police had allowed the rally to be held at the open space, opposite the secondary school, there would have been serious security problem in the state capital, which include traffic jam, pointing out that the road led to Ikot Ekpene in Akwa- Ibom state and other states outside Abia State.
The acting police CP also confirmed that his men stopped the supporters of Emenike from entering the state capital, Umuahia.
“We decided to cancel the already approved permit for the rally because the venue planned for the rally had been cancelled and there was no new venue, but we later gave them permit when a new venue was found, so there is no truth that the police planned to stop the rally,” Omeire said.
However, Emenike said clearly that Omeire was political and was, therefore, not fit to be a police commissioner, adding that he (Omeire) did not have the temperament to be a police commissioner.
According to the PDP governorship aspirant, if the Inspector General of Police wants Nigerians to believe his promise of neutrality and free and fair elections next year, the likes of Omeire should not be allowed to take charge.
The police said that they tried to stop the rally for security reasons but claimed that the issue was resolved later by both parties.
Meanwhile, Omeire has disclosed that the second in command to the late lain kidnap kingpin, Mr. Obioma Nwankwo, a.k.a Osisikankwu, Chukwuma Ajagba, alias Baruwa, has been arrested on the outskirts of Aba town.
He said the suspect was currently helping the police in their investigations into kidnapping activities in the state.