The Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress has accused the Federal Government of “engineering” the ugly incident at the State High Court on Tuesday.
A group of policemen had clashed with protesting youths over the forceful entry into the premises of the court by the police and some judges in the state.
Rivers State High Court had been under lock and key since June 10 when judiciary workers in the state embarked on an indefinite strike.
A statement signed on Wednesday by the Senior Special Adviser to the State Chairman of the party, Chukwuemeka Eze, described Tuesday’s incident in Port Harcourt as a show of shame.
It said, “This is the height of impunity by the Peoples Democratic Party-controlled Presidency, which has tried almost everything in the book in a failed bid to illegally remove the Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, from office.
“The APC, Rivers State Chapter, strongly condemns the show of shame witnessed in Port Harcourt, the state capital on September 23, 2014, when a horde of well-armed and fierce-looking policemen, acting on the orders of the Federal Government, brutalised innocent citizens protesting the desperate attempt to foist Justice Daisy Okocha as the Chief Justice of the State.
“This is the height of impunity by the PDP-controlled Presidency, which has tried almost everything in the books in a failed bid to illegally remove the Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, from office.
“We wish to alert Nigerians and the rest of the world that the real reason behind the lingering crisis in the state judiciary is not just about who has the right between the State Governor and the National Judicial Council to appoint the state chief judge.
“Rather, this is a needless crisis deliberately engineered by the Presidency and the PDP in their desperation to remove Governor Amaechi at all costs before the 2015 general elections, knowing very well that with Governor Amaechi as the helmsman in Rivers State coupled with all the atrocities committed by the administration of President Jonathan against the people of Rivers State, PDP and the presidency have lost Rivers State even before the 2015 general elections.”
The party said the crisis rocking the state judiciary had political undertone that culminated in the police escorting Justice Daisy Okocha into the court premises.
According to the state APC, “The protracted battle between the NJC and the state government over the appointment of a substantive chief judge for the state has on one side the choice of the governor, Justice Peter Agumagu, and that of the NJC, Daisy Okocha.
“But there is a political undertone in the whole script that is being played out, culminating in the police escorting Okocha to the State High Court to meet with Judges — a clear act of aggression.”
Also, the Chief of Staff, Government House, Tony Okocha, pointed out that the PDP was desperate to remove Amaechi from office before the 2015 election.
Okocha stated that the PDP believed that this was the only way it could rig the election next year.
He said, “They know that with the governor and the APC on the ground here, having the support of the masses who are the real electorate, the PDP cannot win up to nine per cent of the votes in Rivers State.
“They plan to foist a candidate they can use to organise a kangaroo impeachment by just six lawmakers with a view to removing the governor, his deputy and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly. This is a repeat of what took place in Adamawa State, but here, the case is different because we have the support of the people and majority of the lawmakers are for the Governor.”