Kwanee says police indirectly attacking Amaechi
The Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Leyii Kwanee, has asked the police to stop overheating the Rivers polity.
Speaking to journalists on Sunday at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, on his arrival from Lagos State where he went for a church retreat, the Deputy Speaker said it was wrong for the police to arrest the majority leader of the state House of Assembly, Chidi Lloyd, for a driving accident in which Mr. Lloyd was not a driver but a passenger.
Mr. Kwanee said there was no traffic law that made a passenger culpable even in a case of man slaughter or reckless driving. It is the driver that may be the offender and not the leader. He accused the police of ‘partisanship’ and carrying out a vendetta.
“By my training as a lawyer, I know that sections 36(5) of the 1999 constitution guarantees presumption of innocence in favour of an accused.
“Facts made available to me show that the leader, who is still physically weak, was not driving the car as at the time the accident occurred; that the leader was himself injured in the unfortunate accident; that the driver of the vehicle had since reported to the police and is cooperating with the police. The question is why arrest the leader when he was not the driver of the vehicle,” Mr. Kwanee said.
The Deputy Speaker pointed out that it was as a result of issues like the one involving Mr. Lloyd that well meaning Nigerians were calling for the redeployment of the state Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu.
Mr. Kwanee insisted Mr. Lloyd’s arrest was a calculated attempt to drag the state governor, Rotimi Amaechi’s name in the mud and demonise Mr. Lloyd. He also said that the development portended danger for the country’s democracy and advised the police to be professional and shun any attempt by anyone to use them to cause disorder and chaos in Rivers State in order to declare a state of emergency intended to give the Peoples Democratic Party an advantage before the 2015 general elections.