By Anayo Okoli
POLICEMEN from Zone 9 Headquarters, Umuahia, Abia State, in the early hours of yesterday, were said to have raided the residence of Abia State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Anthony Agbazuere, claiming that they were in search of missing INEC Direct Data Capture, DDC, machines.
Said to be heavily armed, the policemen, numbering over ten and led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone 9, John Onyeachonam, were alleged to have forcefully broken into the residence of Agbazuere.
They were said to have disarmed the two police orderlies attached to the commissioner on the order of the Deputy Commissioner of Police to avoid any shoot out.
Speaking to journalists over the incidence, Agbazuere said he suspected foul play in that raid as he claimed to have never contemplated hijacking any INEC material, let alone DDC machines, saying as a lawyer, he knew the law and what tampering with such materials meant.
He said: “I was really embarrassed by the attitude of the police officers who even jumped my fence and created unusual scene in my street and treated me as if I am the worst common thief, even when I am at the fore-front of preaching for the conduct of a credible election at all the levels of the state.
“As things are now, my life is no longer safe because I suspect that some faceless individuals are after me, but they will not succeed.
“Those who are behind this will not go unpunished and I am ready to stake my life in fighting for a just cause as no one can intimidate me now or in the future and they should know that I am capable of fighting back.”
Agbazuere said he would leave no stone unturned in unraveling those behind the false accusation, and urged the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Rafyz Ringim, to initiate a probe into the allegation with a view to bringing culprits to book.
When contacted, Onyeacholam explained that the police only acted on a tip-off over the allegations of DDC machine theft and hijack by politicians who would want to use them for their advantage during the forthcoming elections.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police explained that they had instructions from Abuja to search residences of some selected politicians in and outside Abia, saying all those who were within that category would face the same thing whenever such allegations were received.