Shehu Sani, a former senator from Kaduna, responded to the arrest of three attorneys who were representing the state branch of the All Progressives Congress in an electoral appeal (APC).
The attorneys, Messrs. Jerry Aondo, Dr. Sobere Nelson, and Odum Eyiba, were allegedly working on the petition in a hotel in the state on April 1, 2023, when they were detained by law enforcement.
Shehu wrote on Twitter, “The arrest of the APC lawyers in Rivers is regrettable and wrong; but this is also a lesson that tyranny has no lasting alliance of friendship.”
The spokesperson of the State Police Command, SP Grace Iringe-Koko, who confirmed the arrest in a statement issued on Sunday morning, April 2, said five APC support staff working with the legal team to challenge the outcome of the March 18, 2023 governorship election in the state were picked alongside the lawyers early on Saturday morning in a hotel in Port Harcourt.
According to Iringe-Koko, the arrest followed a tip-off that some unknown lodgers were seen carrying packages in and out of the rooms and printing suspected election materials
“The attention of the Rivers State Police Command has been drawn to the news of the arrest of lawyers handling APC election matters. It is important to inform the public of what really happened,” the statement read.
“On 31/3/23 at about 11.20 am, 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 warrant was dutifully executed on 1/4/23 at about 7.02 am. In the course of 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 later transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department. An Assistant Commissioner of Police was tasked to lead the investigation team.
The PPRO enjoins members of the public to continue to furnish the police with useful information and report every suspicious movement around them.
“The effectiveness of Community Policing is predicated on collaboration and information sharing.” She added.