Operatives of the Nigeria Police Force allegedly acting on the orders of the Rivers State government have arrested three lawyers who are filing processes for the All Progressives Congress at the election petition tribunal in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
The lawyers were said to be preparing petitions against the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission for the just concluded governorship election in Rivers State, when they were arrested.
SaharaReporters learnt that the lawyers, Jerry Aondo, Esq (Abuja), Dr. Sobere Nelson and Odum Eyiba, Esq, were picked up on Friday night at a hotel they were lodging in Port Harcourt.
The reason for their arrest is still unknown.
“They are currently at NPF Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Ogunabali (by Market Square). They are being transferred to State Criminal Investigation Department inside the town.
“Items seized by the police from them include; laptops and exhibits required for their petition defence, such as agent’s copy of form EC8 m, CTC of INEC documents,” a top source revealed to SaharaReporters on Saturday.
“It would appear that Governor Nyesom Wike has got the police to arrest Tonye Cole’s lawyers on the ridiculous allegation that they are part of a gang forging Form EC8M. These are lawyers who are preparing for the tribunal appearance on Monday and the police has seized all their stuff,” another source narrated.
The lawyers are attached to the Tuduru Ede’s Chamber, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
The State APC Publicity Secretary, Darlington Nwauju, confirmed the incident on Saturday afternoon.
“Yes, it is true. They were arrested last night. We are going to brief the press,” Nwauju stated.
Efforts to reach the spokesperson of the state Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko proved abortive as her mobile phone was not reachable as at the time of filing this report.