Why we arrested APC lawyers, support staff – Rivers police spokesperson

THE Rivers State Police Command has given reasons why it arrested three lawyers working for the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to file proceedings at the election petition tribunal.

The spokesperson for the Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the arrest in a press statement she released on Sunday, April 2.

The statement was titled, ‘Re-arrest of lawyers handling APC election petition.’

Iringe-Koko disclosed that five APC support staff working with the legal team to challenge the outcome of the state’s March 18, 2023, governorship election were also arrested alongside the lawyers.

She added that the police made the arrest early on Saturday morning in a hotel in Port Harcourt.

The statement, explaining the reason behind the arrest, read, “On 31/3/23 at about 11.20 a.m., information was received that some lodgers occupying three rooms in a popular hotel were seen carrying packages in and out of the rooms and printing what seems like INEC documents (including results).

“A video recording of the activities in one of the rooms was forwarded by the informant to the Police Commissioner.

“The information neither disclosed the identity of the lodgers nor who they were working for.

“As a responsible law enforcement agency, the police needed to act on the intelligence. Thus, based on the report, the police approached the court to obtain a search warrant.”

The police said the warrant was dutifully executed on April 1 at about 7.02am.

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“During the search, eight persons were arrested, and several documents, laptops and printers were recovered.

“The arrested persons and exhibits were taken to the Surveillance Centre and transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department.

“An Assistant Commissioner of Police was tasked to lead the investigation team,” the statement added.

The police said it was in the process of profiling those arrested that it was discovered that three of the arrested persons were lawyers.




     

     

    The statement said the state APC chairman and its governorship candidate in the last election showed up at the station to inform the police that the lawyers were hired by the party to prepare their papers for filing at the election tribunal.

    “Accordingly, the lawyers were promptly released on self-recognizance, while the other five persons were released to a reliable surety,” the statement further said.

    The Police Command assured that the most appropriate and professional thing would be done once the investigation was completed.

    The police urged members of the public to continue to furnish the police with useful information and report every suspicious movement around them.

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