The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Okon Effiong has accused the chairman of Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign council in Rivers State, Senator Lee Maeba of staging the attack on his Port Harcourt home.
Maeba had last week alleged that his house was attacked by thugs loyal to Governor Nyesom Wike.
Addressing journalists at his residence, Maeba expressed regrets that despite his distress calls to the Commissioner of Police in the state, the Director of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Inspector-General of Police, no help came.
He said: “I came to Port Harcourt to visit my family and attend some events. I got in here yesterday. This morning, there was some movement along this street and some neighbours called to my attention that they saw a lot of strange faces.
“I don’t have a criminal life; my compound was empty. I am humble, I don’t do thuggery. I don’t participate in thuggery and I don’t hire thugs. So, I said what would thugs be doing on the street and I dismissed it.
“Then, at about 9:00 am, I said let me go and see my mother-in-law. But, before then, a young man called me with a number that I don’t know and told me that I have done him a favour before, that I should be careful if I am at home. That they have instructions from some quarters to attack my house and attack me. But, I dismissed it because I don’t have a problem with anybody.
“Now, as I just drove out; I drove out with my security personnel to see my mother-in-law. As I just entered my mother-in-law’s house, my phone was ringing and my nephew picked up the phone and said my house was under attack.
“They shot at the gate and forced the gate open. They climbed the second gate and tied up the security man. They entered the compound and were shouting ‘where is he? Where is he? Only one bullet will solve this Atiku problem.’
“My elder brother was standing somewhere there and they descended on him. The next thing they started doing was to use their guns to destroy the cars.
“They got to the front door (main house), hit at the door but they couldn’t succeed. So, they started retreating. You can see the destruction.
“My worry is what is my offence that people will come to my compound. Atiku does not live here. I only work for Atiku, yes. I am an Atiku supporter. What has that got to do with attacking my house in a bid to kill me?
This is democracy; I am a Democrat.
“I called the Commissioner several times but he did not pick up my calls. I called the Director of DSS, I called the Inspector-General of Police and sent pictures of what has happened here to everybody. No one has responded.
“I only saw two gentlemen who came here and said the CP sent them to come and assess the situation. In a distressed situation, will you send only two men? That is the situation and that is what happened.”
However, CP Effiong while answering questions from journalists on Wednesday,said he was in an operation on the day of the incident, and did not see the Senator’s call because his phone was in his car.
He noted that when he later received a call concerning the incident, he quickly mobilized his men to his house, and that Maeba commended him for his timely response.
“I think I was in an operation in Bodo, Gokana Local Government and I didn’t see his call because my phone was in the car.
“But when I received a call later on that report, I quickly mobilised my men and he (Maeba) sent me a message thanking me for my prompt response”
He also said no part of his gate was destroyed and wondered why Maeba’s exotic cars that were parked in his compound when the hoodlums invaded his house were not damaged.
“The compound has two gates. We asked him how they entered the compound and he said through the fence but no part of the fence or the gate was damaged”
He revealed that Maeba is yet to write a statement concerning the incident. He said that when Maeba was called to write a statement on the attack, he said he was waiting for his lawyer.
The CP added that cars allegedly destroyed by the hoodlums were old model cars and warned politicians to leave the Police out of politics.
“I don’t know what has informed that, but I feel strongly that people should not use the police as a pond in a chess game.