Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State yesterday said that the police and operatives of the Department of State Services attempted to shoot him during Saturday attempt to arrest a Federal High Court judge in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
Wike said he was roughhandled by the security agents in the failed arrest led by the Rivers State Director of the DSS, Mr. Tosin Ajayi, and Rivers State Police Commissioner, Mr. Francis Odesanya, assisted by over 100 operatives.
A statement issued by Wike’s Chief Press Secretary, Simeon Nwakaudu, said: “The operatives of DSS reportedly rough-handled Governor Wike, pushing him around and injuring his hand. A few of the operatives cocked their rifles and threatened to shoot the governor.
“They were irked by Governor Wike’s arrival at the scene shortly after the failed abduction process began.”
It was learnt that Governor Wike received security information on the illegal moves, minutes after the operation started.
“The security operatives blocked the entrance of the residence of the Federal High Court judge at about 1am on Saturday morning, claiming that they were acting on orders from above. As they dragged Governor Wike, they insisted that they must be allowed to leave with the judge,” Nwakandu said.
In an interview at the scene, Wike said he intervened because he could not allow security agencies to entrench needless impunity under his watch, adding that whatever the situation, the rule of law must prevail in a democratic setting.
He said if the security agencies had a lawful directive to implement, they must follow due process, more so when the judge is neither a criminal nor an armed robber. If the person has committed an offence, invite him. It is only when he refuses to honour the invitation that you can adopt this commando style.
“The Commissioner of Police is here, the Director of DSS is here. Their operatives cocked their guns and threatened to shoot me. I have never seen that before. Again, this is to tell you what we are facing. We know that more will come. For us in this state, we shall continue to resist it.”
Governor Wike added: “It doesn’t matter what it will cost. When you talk about liberty, sacrifices must be made. We are not trying to stop an arrest. All we are saying is that things must be done decently and in line with the rule of law.”