By, Nkechi Uzonna
The Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State has given
the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS), 30 days to vacate the premises it currently occupies at the Council’s International Market in Rukpoku Community, in the LGA.
Also, SARS operatives in the State were given October 19 till November 30, this year, to deliver same property to the authority of the Council.
The office used by SARS in the State, was originally built to be used as market, but because of criminal activities in the area, a building in the premises was given to the security outfit of the Nigeria Police.
But, recently, there has been a face-off between SARS and some well placed individuals in the State and Obio/Akpor LGA in particular, over alleged misconducts of the security operatives.
It was gathered that a letter to that effect was addressed to the Commander of SARS, Akin Fakorede, and signed by Obio/Akpor Local Government Council Legal Adviser, Victor Owhonda-Wokem, telling SARS to vacate the premises.
The council authority in the letter noted that the call was to enable the council carry out full renovation work in order to commence the original purpose in which the property was built.
It read in part: “I am directed by the Local Government Council to give you one month notice to vacate and deliver up possession of the premises/property of the Obio/Akpor International Market which you presently occupy as a licensee thereof, on or before 30th day of November, 2017.
“This directive is borne out of the council’s need to carry out major renovation works at the international market and to put the said property which you occupy into full use and purpose for which it was originally acquired and built.”
Those copied in the letter included the State Governor, Nyesom Wike, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and the State Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Zaki.
Responding, Fakorede, F-SARS Commander, described the letter by Council authority as misleading and warned the LGA against making false claims.
Fakorede noted that the facility was originally built to serve as a police station, stressing that it was officially handed over to the State Police Command by the immediate past Governor of the State, Chibuike Amaechi.
“I wish to respectively inform your good office that the Rivers State Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) is not in possession of any premises/property of Obio/Akpor Local Government.
“For the purpose of clarity and the avoidance of doubt the F-SARS is presently occupying a purpose-built police facility constructed for the police and officially handed over to the SARS Rivers State on August 23, 2012, by the Rivers Government under Chibuike Amaechi,” the letter read.
Also, the Public Relations Officer of the State Police Command, Nnamdi Omoni, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), in a swift reaction, noted that the Local Government authority had no right to evict the police from the facilty, adding that the council was not housing SARS.
Omoni wondered why the LGA would initiate such move to quit SARS, stressing that there was no tenantship agreement between the police and the council.
He noted that a copy of the letter has been forwarded to the Legal Department of the Command for the next line of action.