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Officers who attempted to arrest Nunieh on legitimate duty, say Rivers Police

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The Rivers State Police Command, yesterday, said policemen who went to arrest a former acting managing director of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Joy Nunieh, were on legitimate duty.

The Command’s spokesman, Nnamdi Omoni, made the clarification in a statement in Port Harcourt.
Media reports had suggested that the presence of the policemen at the residence of Nunieh was not on the directive of the Command, but Omoni explained that the Police operatives were from the Inspector General of Police’s (IGP) Monitoring Team, with the support of the state Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Joseph Mukan.

Nunieh, who was sacked by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, in February for allegedly not participating in the mandatory one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme, had in turn accused the minister of fraud in NDDC and sexual harassment, allegations the minister had denied.

On Thursday, the state government claimed that over 50 policemen had invaded Nunieh residence in Port Harcourt and broke the back door in an attempt to arrest her, but to no avail.

Governor Nyesom Wike later drove to her residence to rescue her to the Government House, where she is taking refuge.The Command has asked Wike to handover the ex-NDDC boss for criminal investigation. According to Mukan, there was serious criminal allegation leveled against her by an undisclosed petitioner.

Speaking in Port Harcourt yesterday during a media chat, the Police boss said he had met with the governor to demand the release Nunieh to the Police for interrogation to determine whether she was culpable or not of the allegation against her.

Mukan reiterated that the policemen who stormed Nunieh’s residence in the early hours of Thursday were actually on legitimate duty, saying the governor is obliged to turn in Nunieh, because he cannot protect her from Police investigation.

According to him, the Police team that went to Nunieh’s residence followed every due process, but she failed to cooperate with them.

Omoni insisted: “The Rivers Police Command wish to clarify that officers who went to the residence of Nunieh were from the IGP Monitoring Team in Abuja on official assignment to the state.

“The officers, before proceeding to Nunieh’s residence, observed due protocols and requisite standard operating procedures. On arrival, the officers reported to the state Police Command headquarters with their investigation activities duly signed and approved by the commissioner.”

The Police spokesman said mobile policemen that accompanied the team to effect the arrest of Nunieh went there on official duty, adding: “The reference that Police officers went to arrest Nunieh without the directive of the CP and IGP is ridiculous and most unfortunate; hence should be disregarded.”


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