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Amaechi Sets up Probe Panel Into Political Killings In Rivers

Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi

Rivers State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has inaugurated a 9-man commission of inquiry to commence investigations into the Politically Motivated Killings in Rivers State.

Members of the commission include; Professor Chidi Odin-Kalu as chairman, Sir Samuel Egbe secretary and Professor Nlerum Okogbule. Others are; Professor Owunari A. Georgewill, Dr. Richard Ofuru, Mrs. Asivosuo M. Oriye, Dr. Joy Ejiofor, Mrs. Ayo M. O. Obe, and Rev. Father Michael Akiri as members.

Speaking Thursday during the inauguration at Government House, Port Harcourt, Amaechi congratulated the members and said the fact-finding exercise will last for 30 days.

He explained that the reason for setting up the commission was to investigate why the victims were killed, who killed them, under what circumstances and for the commission to make useful recommendations that will help government forestall future occurrences.

“When I visited Obirikom in the Ogba-Egbeme-Ndoni local government area, in the house hold of one late chief Christopher Adube, 9 persons were killed by assassins. Those killed were his 3 children, his younger brother, two gatemen, and two other persons, while two of the late Chief Adube’s children are still receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital.

“There was a day I was arguing with the commissioner of Police in Rivers State now posted to Enugu and I said, commissioner, I am told 11 persons have been killed, he said, ‘no, only 7 persons.’ Again, in the same Omoku, whether it is 7 or 11 persons, these are human lives. At Okrika, when APC went on campaign, where the guber candidate of APC was seated, he would have been hit by a bullet, but, God saved him he had left that place earlier, the first day APC went for campaigns in Okirika, and the police were present.

“The day I was driving to my village on March 28 for the Presidential election, I saw a corpse at the median of the road, I called the Commissioner of Police, ‘Mr. Karma, I have seen a corpse here, please, look for a way to take away the corpse and find out who did this,’ but, he did not. Whether the corpse is still there or not, I have no idea. When I got to the village called Omuanwa, on  that election day, young boys were shooting sporadically at innocent people and when they saw us, they ran into the bush. Then I came down and met somebody they have shot that is severely injured, we have to put him in a vehicle to rush him to the hospital”, Amaechi said.

Governor Amaechi maintained that those behind the killings were allowed to carry out the mayhem because of the existence of impunity in the state, and called on the commission to recommend appropriate punishment for the offenders.

“The reasons why the killings happen was because of impunity in the state. Total impunity. I believe as a Governor, if you don’t punish those who break the law, then human beings will no longer be protected. People were not allowed to carry out their civic obligation and responsibilities, just because they are desperate to take over power.

“There will be threats, but your duty as a commission is to overcome these threats. First, you must be under the custody of the state and we will inform the commissioner of Police to provide adequate security for them to discharge their duties uninterrupted”, Amaechi noted.


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