In what may surprise many, wife of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan ordered Police Chief to release armed thugs in custody for on suspicion of violence involving guns.
In Nigeria,The Herald newspaper in Nigeria believe that the suspects are political allies of the politically powerful First Lady.
This embarrassment on the President comes at a time when Jonathan is losing popularity over failure to deal with Boko Haram and other issues.
The Herald (Nigeria) reports that Rivers State Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu, has been ordered to release the detained suspected armed thugs of George Sekibo, a Senator; and Evans Bipi, a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Daily Independent has authoritatively gathered.
The release order, according to findings, is coming from President Goodluck Jonathan’s wife, Patience.
Sekibo and Bipi are both close political allies of the First Lady.
The six suspected thugs were arrested by the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in Ogu (hometown of the two politicians) in Rivers State.
The JTF later handed them over to the police for prosecution
But Mrs Jonathan was said to have ordered Mbu to release the suspects and return to them the arms and ammunition found in their possession.
At press time last night, it was not clear whether Mbu had carried out the order or not, but Bipi was said to be to ensure the release of the suspects.
Meanwhile, a crisis of confidence seems to be brewing between the JTF/Army and the police in Rivers State on how the story of the arrest of the armed thugs leaked to the media.
An online newspaper, ‘Saharareporters’, broke the story.
Mbu was said to have complained loudly that the story must have been leaked to the media by the Army/JTF.
It was further gathered that Mbu equally lamented that the other security agencies, namely Army, Navy, Air Force and SSS, in the state are not helping him and the police in the fight against Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi.
According to a credible source, who does not want to be named, Mbu allegedly cited the arrest and the subsequent leakage of it to the media as an example, adding that if it was the Rivers State Police Command that made the arrest, the media won’t have heard about it.
However, a source within the JTF/Army dismissed Mbu’s claims and described them as “ridiculous and preposterous”.
The source maintained that the Army do not get involved in politics, and certainly do not take sides in political fights.
According to the source, who also spoke to the on line medium on conditions of anonymity, “Mbu must be a joker, if he expects the Army to do otherwise.”
The source further stated that Mbu should look inside the police on how the story got to the media, as it was after the Army handed over the suspects to the police for prosecution that the story went public.
It would be recalled that on January 3, members of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) arrested six youths, who the military soon found out to be armed thugs, around Ekporo road on their way to Ogu in the Ogu Bolo Local Government area of Rivers State.
They were in an off white Land Rover jeep with registration number JJ441BZ.
The thugs were arrested based on their suspicious movement.
Those arrested gave their names as Sunday Elisha, Uche Jenikachi, Ibinabo Lawson, Okechukwu Okoro, Jerry Tonyeand Daniel Ibito-Anga (leader of the thugs).
In fact, Ibito-Anga parades himself in Ogu Bolo as Security Adviser/PA to both Senator George Sekibo (who represents Rivers East) and Bipi, who had earlier paraded himself as Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly until he was stopped by an order of the State High Court.
Both Sekibo and Bibi are from Ogu and have confessed publicly to be close allies of Mrs. Jonathan, who hails from nearby Okrika.
They all speak the same native Okrika dialect.
Bipi was also a domestic aide of Mrs Jonathan before he was elected into the Rivers State House of Assembly in 2011.
Sekibo, who nurses a governorship ambition, is hoping to ride into Rivers State Government House on the back of the First Lady.
All of them are also known publicly to be fighting Amaechi.
Recovered from the suspects are seven AK47 assorted riffles, 164 rounds of 7.62mm special live ammunition, 10 live magazines and six locally made cannon launchers.
The JTF has confirmed the arrest and the weapons found on them.
After their arrest, the suspects were taken by the JTF team to Bori Camp, the military base in Port Harcourt.
The thugs were then handed over to the police in Rivers State for prosecution.
Already, there were allegations that the commissioner of police, Mbuh, was brought to head the state police command by Mrs Jonathan.
Amaechi had recently raised an alarm that arms, ammunition and weapons were being brought into the state by politicians opposed to his administration ahead of the next general elections.
The Governor had specifically alleged that the arms being built up in the state were to be used to intimidate and perpetrate violence against Rivers people.