Armed men on Sunday evening allegedly, including police officers and suspected political thugs, invaded the residence of Edison Ehie, the factional Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly in Port Harcourt.
According to The PUNCH, Ehie, amid a legislative crisis, had proclaimed himself Speaker, following his suspension alongside two others by 24 lawmakers.
Around 24 lawmakers had ousted Ehie from his position as House leader, along with two other members of the house.
Despite this, Ehie declared himself as Speaker last month, claiming the unanimous support of 26 lawmakers who purportedly elected him while also announcing the suspension of certain colleagues.
Specifics regarding the assault on Ehie’s residence remain unclear, making it difficult to confirm any damage or casualties resulting from the invasion. However, reports indicate that his security personnel successfully thwarted the suspected assassination attempt.
This incident followed the departure of 27 lawmakers, led by House Speaker Martin Amaewhule, to Abuja for a retreat, described by the latter as a capacity-building event.
Upon reaching out, the spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, stated she hadn’t received the report.
She assured further inquiry and pledged to revert to our correspondent.
However, as of the report’s filing on Monday morning, she had not fulfilled this promise.
A statement, attributed to the Legislative Correspondent of the State House of Assembly, Ken Uchendu, and circulated among news outlets, labeled the attack as an assassination attempt.
The statement accused the head of a state police tactical unit, along with unidentified accomplices, of orchestrating the alleged assassination bid.
Furthermore, it cautioned that senior police officials would be held accountable should any harm befall the new Speaker and his household.
The statement also pledged to release CCTV footage capturing the incident to the public for verification and documentation.
The statement read, “At about 11 pm on Sunday, November 19, 2023, a group of armed thugs and police officers attached to the CTU B 3 RSV attacked the private residence of the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Edison Ehie, fully armed with an intention to assassinate Mr. Speaker and his family.
“However, the thugs and the police officers were vehemently repelled in a gun battle by the official security details attached to the Speaker.
“It is imperative to note that the armed rogues and officers were properly and fully captured by CCTV footage in the residence, which shall be made available to all media houses, including CNN, Aljazeera and other national and international media outlets for the records.
“Let it be on record that Rivers people, boys, girls, women, men including the aged shall in our numbers occupy the streets naked in demonstration against the Nigerian Police and those sponsoring violence in Rivers State, no matter how highly placed, Rivers people will resist them.
“Finally, should there be a breakdown of law and order in Rivers State, President Bola Tinubu should hold the Rivers State Police Command and their sponsors in Rivers State responsible.”