A former senator representing the Rivers South-East district in the National Assembly, Lee Maeba, and the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Okon Effiong, are on a collision course over an alleged attack on the former’s residence by suspected political thugs in GRA Phase 3, Port Harcourt, last Thursday.
While the CP Effiong expressed doubts that the said attack happened from preliminary investigations carried out by the police, Maeba, who is the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council in Rivers State, insisted that it happened.
Maeba said he was prepared to go to court to prove that thugs invaded his compound, destroyed property, injured his elder brother and wanted to gain entrance into his house, but retreated when they couldn’t.
Speaking to newsmen at his office, Effiong wondered why Maeba had yet to come forward to give his statement concerning the attack on his compound.
The CP said, “I called him that we need to see you for your statement. And he said he was waiting for his lawyer.”
On Maeba’s allegations that the CP did not respond to several calls he put across to him over the attack on his compound, the CP, denying, said though he was in an operation and not with is mobile telephone, someone in a distress situation would have called more than once.
“I was somewhere in Bodo in Gokana local government in an operation. I am going to show you my call log so that you will be able to tell me how many times the senator called me.
“I want to believe that when somebody is in distress, he will call one, two, three. He called me. I didn’t have his number. I was in an operation.
“When somebody else called later, quickly I detailed a team led by a Deputy Commissioner of Police. He saw the team and interacted with them,” he said.
The CP wondered the claim of the PDP campaigner that the suspected thugs had planned to kill him, yet none of his buildings was damaged.
“We have pictures of the cars that were allegedly destroyed. We are talking about a senator who has a fleet of cars.
“How come that that day only 1990, 2000 Camry and Corollas that were damaged.
“Was it a coincidence that all the expensive cars, none was touched (by the) thugs; the people only touched the rickety cars?
“Was it a coincidence that only rickety cars were packed in his garage?”
But when contacted on Thursday, Maeba debunked claims that he stage-managed the attack and expressed shock at the CP’s comments, saying it showed that the Effiong did not investigate even though it was reported to him.
He said, “The CP has lied against me and has brought down my reputation. I will challenge him in a court of law to prove that I was attacked. How did the CP reach that conclusion without an investigation?
“Does it mean there was no investigation when people came to attack me and destroyed my property?
“You came to my house and said the only thing that would have made you believe that people attacked my house was that they destroyed old cars.
“My escalade 2015 is not an old car. My Camry is 2017. How is it an old car? I never knew that the CP had been compromised. The same thing the state Commissioner for Information and Communications said was what the CP stood on.
“If the CP said I have not given a statement, yes I told him I was waiting for my lawyer. My lawyer returned yesterday and I have made a statement.”
Continuing, Maeba said, “The CP has not even seen my statement and he concluded that I attacked myself. That is completely unprofessional, bogus and unimaginable. He lied against me that I organised thugs to attack my home.
“He even said there is no evidence that thugs attacked my home. So who attacked my home and broke those cars? The CP has a case to answer before the human rights commission.
“My rights have been trampled upon and the CP has brought my reputation to ridicule. I give the CP 24 hours to tender an unreserved apology and retract his lies against me or I will drag him to court or before the human rights commission.
“He has displayed the attitude of a compromised police officer and it is very unfortunate.”