29 July 2013

Nigeria: Rivers Assembly Leader Is Going Blind, Says Deputy Speaker

Port Harcourt — Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Leyii Kwane, has raised alarm over what he described as the continued detention of Leader of the state Assembly, Chidi Lloyd, by the police, saying he may go blind.

Kwanee, representing Kana constituency 1 in the Assembly, at a press conference in Port Harcourt yesterday alleged that the tear gas fired into the eyes of the lawmaker by the police might make him go blind.

He said, "Lloyd was flown from Abuja to Port Harcourt on Friday and is being detained at the police headquarters. He was tortured, tear gassed and handcuffed. He was blindfolded and is about going blind because of the tear gas fired on him. According to the man that accompanied Lloyd from Abuja to Port Harcourt, the police stopped at OPM junction, dragged the leader out of the car he was in and was pushed into a waiting Black Maria from where he was taken to the police headquarters".

He said the continued detention of Lloyd has portrayed Nigeria in a very bad light, stressing that Nigeria being a signatory to so many international human rights charter cannot afford its image tarnished by the action of the police.

He said the House will involve human right activists and would go to international court if need be to ensure that the fundamental rights of their member is restored.

Efforts to speak with the police on the matter proved abortive as the telephone of the police image maker, DSP Angela Agabe, was switched off when our correspondent called. But a source from the police headquarters said Lloyd was neither assaulted nor humiliated. The source added that Lloyd is being accommodated in a police guest house, and that he is helping the police with their investigation.


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