The Rivers State police commissioner, Joseph Mukan, has said the command expects Governor Nyesom Wike to release the former Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) boss, Joi Nunieh, to them.
“Nobody says he shouldn’t protect his citizens, but everything should be done within the confines of the law,” Mr Mukan said on TVC News Friday.
“If you rescue your citizen, we expect you to turn her over to the police, who are in a better position to protect her,” he added.
In a separate interview with AriseTV, the police chief said although no prior notification was sent to Ms Nunieh, a “strong petition” was written against her and it required a “strong action.”
In the light of this, he said, the Inspector-General of Police monitoring unit from Abuja came on a “legitimate duty” to invite her, “but unfortunately, she refused to honour the invitation.”
“We came peacefully to invite her, but she resisted the invitation,” Mr Mukan told AriseTV on Friday.
Footage shown by the medium showed how police officers forcefully broke into Ms Nunieh’s house, but Mr Mukan said this was ‘doctored’.
“You cannot protect a criminal,” he said, referring to Governor Wike, before his interviewer asked him if she has been convicted.
To that, he said “she is under suspicion. Investigation will show whether she is culpable or not but when investigation is being obstructed, how do we come with a conclusive investigation?”
Ms Nunieh, a former head of the interim management committee of the NDDC, has been one of the actors in a back and forth controversy that has rocked the commission over alleged corruption.
This controversy has pitched her against the Niger Delta minister, Godswill Akpabio. Both officials have traded allegations of corruption and other illegalities among themselves.
The commission, whose mandate is to bridge the infrastructural gap in the oil-rich region, has fallen short of this for its two decades of existence, largely due to corruption among officials in the agency.