James Ibori is Protected by Armed hoodlums. Hoodlums ambushed Nigeria’s Police Force.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mr. James Ibori
The Inspector General of Police, Ogbona Onovo, on Tuesday, ordered his men to arrest former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, after he had withdrawn security aides attached to the man recently declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).

The police team who went to Oghara, the hometown of Mr. Ibori to make the arrest, were, however, ambushed by a group of armed hoodlums who severely manhandled the police officers and beat some of them into coma, the Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, confirmed on Tuesday.

According to reports gathered by NEXT, the police convoy, which included Assistant Inspector General of Police, M.D Abubakar, and the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Yakub Alkali, were attacked on the outskirts of the town by armed men who exchanged gun shots with the police. The police team had to beat a hasty retreat from the town to provide medical care for their wounded.

Mr. Ojukwu said the police was acting on a warrant of arrest issued by an Abuja High Court Monday that it brings in Mr. Ibori for questioning.

An earlier attempt by journalits at the presidential villa to get answers from Mr. Onovo on an alleged directive by the Acting President, Goodluck Jonathan, that he arrests Mr. Ibori, were rebuffed.

Mr. Onovo had visited the State House to attend the National Economic Council (NEC), which was presided over by the Acting President yesterday.

“I am here to attend a meeting and not to take questions,” he had said.

But residents of Oghara confirmed that heavily armed hoodlums who have moved into the town were members of militant groups in the area.

Mr. Ojukwu, however, said police had not identified those behind the attack.

“I don’t know which group, but I can confirm to you that the group that was sent there was attacked by hoodlums. I don’t know whether they are militants or what by now, but we are still working on it,” he said.

He said Mr. Onovo has also directed Mr. Abubarkar to work with Mr. Alkali to ensure the arrest of the former governor.

“The IG has ordered the AIG in charge of Zone 5, that is M.D. Abubakar and the commissioner of police, Delta State, to effect the arrest of James Ibori and there is a DIG on ground to ensure that the court order is enforced today,” Mr. Ojukwu said.

“We cannot give you the details of what we now want to do, but we will do everything within the law to effect the arrest; and there is a warrant of arrest issued by a court and we are acting within the jurisdiction.”

Denying some media report that Mr. Onovo had refused to obey a presidential order asking him to arrest Mr. Ibori, the police spokesperson said the order of arrest it relies on was served on the Nigeria Police on Monday.

However, when asked why the police has been charged to effect the arrest and not the EFCC, which is the agency looking for Mr. Ibori, Mr. Ojukwu responded that, “you may ask them that question. What we know is that there is court order from the court and the court can direct any law enforcement agency to effect the arrest and get the work done.”

In a telephone interview, the EFCC spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, who also confirmed the attack, said the commission’s operatives were part of the team that went to the village.

The men were attacked by “armed militants at the entrance of the village and have still not been able to effect the arrest,” he said.

Legal tussle
Mr. Ibori, who faces several corruption charges, has refused to obey EFCC’s invitation to come and answer questions on allegations levelled against him by a group of Delta elders, led by Edwin Clark.

Mr. Ibori had, through his counsel, filed a motion exparte on April 12, at an Asaba High Court praying that he should be granted an interim injunction restraining the EFCC from arresting or harassing him. Joined in the suit are the Attorney-General of the Federation; the Inspector-General of Police; and the Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS).

The presiding judge, I.N. Buba, at its last sitting on April 14, adjourned proceedings in the case to April 28 to allow Mr. Ibori serve fresh hearing notices on the respondents in his application.

Source: http://www.234next.com/

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