The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed has ordered a full scale investigation into the alleged looting of 20 bags of rice donated to flood victims in Ahoada West local Government Area of the State.
Spokesman of the State Police Command, Nnamdi Omoni who confirmed this to the Tide on Thursday said the probe became necessary following complaints by the flood victims that the relief materials donated to them were not properly shared and that some were looted.
It would be recalled that wife of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and President of the Police Officers Wives Association (POWA), Princess AsmauIdris had led some of her members to Ahoada West, where she donated 200 bags of rice and other relief materials to floods victims.
But few days after her departure, 20 of the 200 bags of rice donated by POWA were allegedly carted away by hoodlums who attacked a bus conveying the various relief materials to the respective wards in the Area.
Omoni, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) also said already the traditional ruler of Akinima community and other stakeholders in the area have been invited by the police for questioning.
“We just got wind of what happened. Though nobody officially reported to the police, but because we heard it from the grapevine and investigation has been ordered by the CP to verify the situation.
“The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) has invited the traditional ruler and other stakeholders to find out what really happened,” Omoni said, even as he dismissed accusation that some police officers connived with leaders in Ahoada West to divert some of the materials meant for the flood victims.
“They (accusers) are not fair for us. These items were presented to them by wife of the IGP in the public glare. The items were counted and handed over to the head of the IDP camp, one Hon. Eze Gbaleke Melford.
“How can the police go and take those things back. That report is unverifiable, unfounded and intended to cause some mischief and we do not want to join issues with mischief makers. The wife of the IGP acted in good fate,” Omoni stated.
Some of the items donated include: 200 bags of rice, 200 mattresses and pillows, cartons of noodles, cartons of detergents and buckets, among others materials.
Meanwhile, a youth leader from Engenni Ethnic Nationality, Ahoada West LGA had accused leaders of the area and the police of diverting the relief materials meant for flood victims there.
The youth leader who did not want his name in print for fear of been arrested said reports of looted rice is a ploy by both parties aimed at misleading members of the public so as to cover their tracks.
While admitting that some of the relief materials were actually looted by hoodlums, reports that over 20 bags of rice were stolen is false.
“Those rice were escorted by police officers and I wonder how youths went there and stumble the car and disappear with the rice. Because we did not see any rice and we did not hear of any disappearance of rice.
“The leaders connived with the police to hijack the items. They have taken the rice and they will still come back to tell us fake stories,” he queried.
Reacting to his invitation by the Police, Traditional Ruler of Akinima community, Eze Afoashi Richard expressed shock at the development.
He said, “Ask questions. You do not just fly things to a community and as you are leaving the whole thing is carted away by hoodlums. Now police are inviting me to come and explain. I do not know anything and I was not inviting to that occasion.
“Since it was police wives that brought these things and they want to investigate and prosecute they should go into the communities they will know those behind the incident instead of inviting me. But I will go there honour police invitation,” the monarch said.
By: Dennis Naku.
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