In a swift turnaround, the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Zanna Ibrahim, has denied his own dismissal of claims by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senator representing Delta Central, Ovie Omo-Agege, of an assassination attempt on him.
The incident took place in Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area, to which Mr. Omo-Agege travelled on Saturday with his family and some APC chieftains, for the second phase of his constituency ‘empowerment’ program.
But irate youths, brandishing arms, invaded the venue, resulting in the Senator and his family being whisked away by supporters. Furthermore, already-seated guests were chased away, and several vehicles in the entourage of the Senator destroyed.
But in a fierce reaction, Mr. Ibrahim dismissed the claims of the Senator, insisting his command was unaware of any assassination plot against him, and accusing politicians of being in the habit of making a mountain out of a molehill.
"I don't know about any assassination attempt on the senator,” he said, his words captured on tape. “Didn't he have policemen with him? I know he reported a complaint at the Ekpan police station that he was attacked by thugs during an empowerment program but I don't know whether it boils down to an assassination attempt. My question is, didn't he have policemen with him? As a senator [going to] an empowerment program, will he go empty handed?
The commissioner stressed that in such a situation, the politician is supposed to tell the police so that they will provide security, and asking whether Senator Omo-Agege did that.
“Also, didn't he have police operatives with him? Somebody will not just wake up to say they attempted to assassinate him. When are making allegations you have [to have] substantial proof, not just making allegations."
But barely 24 hours after he dismissed the senator's claims, the
police public relations officer (PPRO), DSP Andrew Aniamaka, completely backed-off that position, saying that at no time did Mr. Ibrahim say that the Senator lied about an assassination attempt on him.
He offered the denial on Monday during the weekly briefing with the Command’s management team, Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and Heads of Departments (HODs), which was held in the conference room of the Command Headquarters in Asaba.
According to Mr. Aniamaka, "The CP who was responding to insinuations in certain quarters of the press that the Command dismissed the senator’s alleged attack noted that preliminary investigation into the case had already commenced at the Area Command office, Warri, and will be later transferred to SCIID, Asaba, with a view to getting to the root of the case, fishing out the culprits and bringing them to justice.
"Meanwhile the CP calls on politicians and other stakeholders to always avail themselves of their unfettered access to the police and other security agencies to seek for the provision of adequate security especially when distributing money and other items to their constituents as hoodlums may want to hijack such events to their own advantage. The CP while urging politicians to eschew anything that may heat up the polity, promises that all reported incidents will be properly investigated without any fear or favor."
Saharareporters has a recording of an interview with the CP while he dismissed Senator Omo-Agege’s claims below: