By Akanimo Sampson
The bloody violence that shattered the peace of the Rivers State House of Assembly on July 9, 2013 is bursting again on the front burner of the 2019 politics of the big oil and gas state, as the former Majority Leader of the House, Chidi Lloyd, is currently fresh charges on alleged murder and attempted murder.
Lloyd, an Ikwerre like Governor Nyesom Wike and Transportation Minister Chibuike Amaechi, is the Director-General of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship Campaign Organisation in the state. He was billed to take his plea this Thursday, on the charges preferred against him by the state government.
Amaechi while as governor on July 9, 2013 personally foiled an alleged attempt to impeach the Speaker of the state House of Assembly. The speaker then, Otelemaba Amachree, had convened a session of the legislature in order to amend certain portions of the state budget.
The session followed a prolonged crisis in the state caused by alleged schemes by former President Goodluck Jonathan to impeach Amaechi, who was deemed an impediment to Jonathan’s ambition to seek a second term.
Two lawmakers loyal to Amachree claimed that the speaker then sensed there was trouble in the air after he sent letters summoning members to the day’s session. Based on his fears, he sent a message to the state Commissioner of Police and the Brigade Commander and Leader of the Joint Task Force to ask for security to enable the House to sit.
Apparently unknown to the speaker, five members of the House allegedly loyal to Jonathan had met with the police boss overnight and arranged to come prepared to impeach the speaker.
Trouble however, started when a member, Evans Bapakaye Bipi, representing Ogu/Bolo Constituency allegedly arrived with thugs, pounced on the House Leaders, Michael Chinda and Chidi Lloyd, while the police and the military kept their distance.
When Amaechi heard of the fracas and the refusal of the police and members of the JTF to intervene, he rushed to the House with his aides and armed escorts and succeeded in rescuing members of the House loyal to him.
As Amaechi and the majority of the legislators were leaving the site of the mayhem, they allegedly discovered that five members of the House had seized the mace. They then invaded the House to retrieve the mace from the minority group. In the process, there was bloodletting.
In the mean time, a Port Harcourt High Court on Wednesday, dismissed an application filed by the former leader of the House, Chidi Lloyd for lack of merit.
He is facing a fresh charge No: PH/691CAP/ 2018; on alleged murder, charge No: PH/692CAP/2018, on alleged attempted murder, charge No: PH/693CR/ 2018; on injury and destruction of public property.
The accused person filed an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to try him of fresh criminal charges.
Delivering his ruling on the application, the trial Judge, Justice Chiwendu Nwogu dismissed the application for lack of merit, declaring that the court has the jurisdiction to try the case.
The Judge accordingly adjourned the substantive matter to this Thursday to enable the accused person to take his plea before the court.
Counsel to the state government, Damilare George Adeyemi explained that the former majority leader will be prosecuted on fresh charges under the Criminal laws of the state and not under the Legislative Act .
Eye-witnesses say Chidi Lloyd almost snuff life out of a fellow lawmaker then, Michael Chinda through the use of a mace. He allegedly injured his former colleague severely, spilling his blood on the floor of the House.
By Akanimo Sampson