Rivers Crisis: Tension rises over detention of monarch by Police

Joseph Mbu, Rivers Police Commissioner
There was tension in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on Wednesday as youths from the area took to the streets to protest the detention of their monarch, King of Akpor Kingdom, Eze Anele Agbaraka Oriebe.

Oriebe was said to have been invited by the Rivers State Police Command on Tuesday and detained on the orders of the state police commissioner, Mr. Joseph Mbu, till the following day, a development that angered the youths of the area.

The angry youths, according to the Legal Adviser to Akpor Council of Chiefs, Chief Godwin Agbaraosimini, blocked Ozuoba Road to express their dissatisfaction over the detention.

Agbaraosimini said the police came later to disperse the protesting Obio/Akpor youths with teargas. He said one of the protesters was injured and rushed to the hospital.
He said, “The youths took to the streets because of the detention of their king by the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph Mbu. It is a taboo for our king to sleep outside his palace.

“But the police came and dispersed them with teargas when they blocked Ozuoba Road. As I speak with you, one of the youths was injured and lying critically ill in the hospital.”
Narrating the circumstance that led to the invitation and detention of Oriebe, Agbaraosimini said some members of the king’s family had gone to the family land with a bulldozer to clear the land.

The counsel said the family members, who came to clear the land with police escort, were members of the Grassroots Develop Initiative, a political group sponsored by the supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike.

He said when the king learnt about the development, he raced to the place and queried the presence of policemen and some members of the family on the land and that the policemen threatened to shoot the monarch if he tried to stop the clearing of the land.
“The king, who is the head of the family, was invited the following day by the state police headquarters and was surprisingly detained. They (police) even insulted him and called him Amaechi’s chief.

“You can see that the arrest of our king was politically-motivated. Paramount rulers all over the country are always loyal to their governors and Governor Rotimi Amaechi had elevated the stool of our king from a second class stool to a first class stool.

“The presence of policemen on the land showed that the whole thing was a setup to ridicule our king. Akpor people have been very sad over the development,” he said.