Thursday, 10 July 2014

Lawmaker kidnapped in Port Harcourt

The lawmaker representing Etche II Constituency in Rivers State  House of Assembly, Golden Chioma, has been abducted in Port Harcourt. He was said to have been abducted at about 8 a.m. on Monday at Emenike Street in Diobu area of the Rivers State capital by gunmen.
His abduction occurred exactly a year after the July 9, 2013 fracas at the hallowed chamber of the House of Assembly, which led to the closure of the complex.
Chioma, who is the chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary, is among the 27 lawmakers loyal to Governor Chibuike Amaechi.
He and his colleagues had been a pillar of support for the governor, especially since July 9, 2013 that five anti-Amaechi legislators, led by Evans Bipi, representing Ogu/Bolo Constituency, attempted to impeach the Sspeaker and die-hard Amaechi supporter, Otelemaba Dan Amachree.
The kidnapped lawmaker was also the sponsor of the recently passed controversial  Rivers State High Court (Amendment) Law, 2014, which empowered the Chief Registrar to assign cases in the absence of an Acting or a Chief Judge. The law was passed because of the crisis rocking the state judiciary, following a disagreement between the state government and the National Judicial Council (NJC), over the appointment of the state chief judge.
The whereabouts of the lawmaker were still unknown at the time of filing the report and there was also no indication that his family had been contacted for payment of ransom.
Also, at the time of filing this report, the leadership of the House of Assembly was yet to officially comment on the incident.
But a House of Assembly source told journalists, who were earlier invited to witness yesterday’s sitting, that the House had been adjourned sine die, as the lawmakers were not in the mood to sit because of the incident.
The police had also confirmed the kidnap of the lawmaker. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ahmad Muhammad, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said the police had strategised with a view to rescuing the lawmaker and apprehending the bandits.
“He is actually kidnapped and all efforts are mobilised to safely rescue him. The only update is that the command has spread its tentacles with a view to rescuing the lawmaker,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, has condemned the kidnap of the lawmaker. In her reaction, the commissioner  described the abduction as very sad and unfortunate turn of events. She appealed to the security agents to secure his release.

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