Rivers Court Explosion: No casualty recorded- police says

PDP, APC blame one another over the incident.

The Rivers State Police Command has confirmed the explosion at the premises of a High Court in Ahoada, Rivers State, on Monday morning, but said it did not record any casualty.

Also, the two major parties in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, have traded blame over the incident.

An explosive went off at the premises of the High Court in Ahoada just before the suit filed by the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Otelemaba Amachree, and others against a members of the House, Evans Bipi, came up for hearing.

They had asked the court to restrain Mr. Bipi from parading himself as the Speaker of the legislature.

In a text message he sent to PREMIUM TIMES, the Rivers police spokesperson, Ahmad Muhammad, said two Improvised Explosive Devices, IED, were thrown into the premises from outside, but one went off while the other failed to go off due to technical error.

“We received a report that an object suspected to be explosive was sighted at the premises of High Court, Ahoada,” he said.

“Our team of Anti-Bomb Squad was dispatched to make it safe. Their findings revealed through its technical operation one unexploded IED was recovered and rendered safe while traces of an exploded IED were identified.

“At the end of the operation, it was established that two IEDs were thrown in to the premises from outside, the two were initiated but one went off while the other failed to go off due to technical error.”

Mr. Muhammad stated that though the exploded IED caused minor damages to the court building, neither injury not death was recorded.

He explained that considering the strength of the materials used in making the devices, the devices were very weak and could not cause severe harm, but merely made noise not that could pull down the building or cause death.

The spokesperson said the police had commenced investigation into the incident with a view to apprehending the perpetrators.

Meanwhile, the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused the state government of being behind the incident.

“The PDP makes bold to suspect that the reported bombing was carried out by agents of the Rivers State Government to prevent the court from sitting so that the court would not be able to vacate the interim order made by the Ahoada High Court, Hon. Justice Charles Wali,” a statement by the Jerry Needam, media aide to the PDP Chairman in the state, said.

The party, which condemned the incident explained that the case that temporarily restrained Evans Bipi from parading himself as the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly was to come up for hearing at the court when it occurred.

It also said its lawyers made up of over 10 Senior Advocate of Nigeria from Abuja and Lagos, had already arrived the court to argue for the vacation of the interim order “and saw senseless and barbaric destruction of the court.”

Earlier, in a statement, the APC had accused the PDP and one of its sponsors and Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, of being responsible for the explosion.

A statement by Chukwuemeka Eze, media assistant to the state Chairman of the APC, said, “Those that perpetuated this heinous act may not be far from those who are not comfortable with the ruling of His Lordship, Hon. Justice C. N. Wali, of 16th December 2013, barring Hon. Evans Bipi, leader of the G6 rebel members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, from parading himself as Speaker of the Assembly.”

“It is on record that the Rivers State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) sponsored by Chief Nyesom Wike, the Supervising Minister of Education, has over the time condemned this ruling of the Ahoada East High Court because it threw a spanner in its plot to use the rebel lawmakers led by Bipi to impeach Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi in a House of 32 members.”

The party said it wondered if bombing the court would make Mr. Bipi, who leads a group of six rebel lawmakers, speaker.

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