…Police identify four, investigating them for coercion
…Police on the trail of more culprits, Say Freedom has limits
By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- THE police in Germany disclosed that it was carrying out investigation into the attack on former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, by a separatist group, the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) in Nuremberg, Germany, about a fortnight ago.
Disclosing this in an Exclusive interview with a freelance journalist, Ruona Meyer, at the police headquarters in Mittelfranken, Germany, at the weekend, the First Chief Commissioner of Police, Mr. Robert Sandmann, confirmed the involvement of the Polizeilicher Staatschutz, a German police department that covers politically-motivated crime, in the investigation, noting the need to exhaust the political clues to the assault on the lawmaker.
He said, “Within the Mittelfrank Police, responsibilities are organised in such a way that where clues may indicate political motivations in an incident/crime, then the special department for politically-motivated crimes always takes over the investigation. Also in the prosecutor’s office, a special department is involved in such investigations.
In a statement yesterday by the Media Aide to Ekweremadu, Uche Anichukwu, Mr. Sandmann who explained that four suspects had been clearly identified from the video, while criminal police was working to identify more culprits, said, “Immediately after the incident, on Saturday afternoon, the police initiated all necessary measures for punitive action. Furthermore, already on Sunday morning, an experienced investigator from the department of politically motivated crimes took over, for further investigations.
“On Monday, the prosecutor’s office was informed; they subpoenaed the investigation file for the next day, and then decided their next steps. Witnesses were also heard, and also the available video material was secured and investigated.
“Through this, already, four suspects were identified and they are now being investigated for coercion. Furthermore, the criminal police is tasked with identifying more suspects and prove their participation based on the available evidence.
“The Mittelfranken Police regrets that this incident happened and is relieved that nobody got injured. It is right that the police regularly act during such events for the protection of the participants. If borders are crossed regarding what is permissible, or even crimes are committed, then investigations like as happened with the senator on Saturday will be initiated.”
The police chief further stressed that although freedom of expression was guaranteed under German laws, it also has limits in order to respect the rights of others.
“Generally, I can say that the free expression of your opinion is guaranteed in Germany, by our constitution. This right, of course, has its limits, where the behaviour violates laws or the rights of others”, he added.
Meanwhile, the police chief who also confirmed that the Cultural Festival and Convention, duly registered by the Ndi-Igbo Germany (N.I.G), organisers of even way back on the 12th of June, said, “As usual for such events, the police contacted the organisers before the event happened to clarify aspects of security and safety. The organisers pointed out a possible, (somewhat) abstract endangerment and independently, Police measures were put in place for the event.
“At the beginning and during the event, the police contacted the organisers two times. Until this point in time, there were no reports from the organisers of disturbances or real and present threats of danger. Immediately after the last contact, the incident occurred”.
He explained that the police intervened immediately and escorted the Senator back to his hotel and remained with him until he left the city of Nuremberg.