After allegedly being tear-gassed and poisoned with a chemical substance, the Rivers State House of Assembly Majority Leader, Chidi Lloyd, may have started going blind in police custody.
The Deputy Speaker of the House, Leyii Kwanee, raised the alarm in Port Harcourt Sunday that despite Lloyd’s condition, his colleagues had been denied access to him.
But the state People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Felix Obuah, has accused Governor Chibuike Amaechi of plotting to scuttle the prosecution of Lloyd for attempted murder of his colleague, Michael Chindah.
Already, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Mike Okiro, has arrived in Port Harcourt to investigate allegations of partisanship and professional misconduct levelled against the state Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, by Amaechi.
Speaking with journalists in Port Harcourt, Kwanee said: “Chidi Lloyd was blindfolded. He was tortured and tear-gas was spread all over him. As I speak to you, some of us have been refused access to him. We have been informed that Chidi Lloyd is going blind, occasioned by the tear-gas that was thrown all over him, particularly on his eyes. Medical help has been refused also to him.”
Lloyd had reported to the Force Headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday last week following an invitation by the police over the fracas that took place on the floor of the Rivers State House of Assembly on July 9. He was brought back to Port Harcourt amid tight security on Friday and many had anticipated that he would be arraigned by the police but to no avail.
Similarly, 25 pro-Amaechi’s lawmakers in a joint statement issued yesterday said they were gravely concerned about the life of their leader whose whereabouts had been shrouded in mystery since he was brought back to Port Harcourt from Abuja on Friday. They said Mbu should be held liable if any harm befell him.
The lawmakers questioned the rationale for the handcuffing of Lloyd when he submitted himself to the police. According to them, all the humiliation meted out to him by the police commissioner was to glorify his political benefactors.
When contacted to confirm the allegation that Lloyd was being tortured on Mbu’s directives and that he was going blind, the Rivers State Police Command spokesperson, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Angela Agabe, told The Guardian: “Please, I don’t have any comment on that.”
In a statement issued on his behalf by his Media Adviser, Jerry Needam, Obuah said yesterday in Port Harcourt that based on reliable information he received, Amaechi had directed the state attorney-general to prevent the prosecution of Lloyd in Port Harcourt.
He urged the people of the state and members of the PDP to continue to pray for the recovery of Chinda who is undergoing medical treatment in London.