Mystery over Rivers court explosion •Judiciary workers begin strike

Posted by News Express | 10 June 2014 | 4,157 times

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Mystery now surrounds yesterday’s explosion at a High Court in Ahoada East Local Government Area of Rivers State, South-South Nigeria, following the declaration by the State Police Command that there was no evidence of a blast despite the destruction of files, vital documents and property worth millions of naira.

The main courtroom, the judge’s chamber and the surrounding walls were also shattered by the explosion, while records of court proceedings and electronics were equally destroyed in the incident which occurred before offices opened for the day.

However, the State Acting Police Public Relations Officer, Grace Iringe-Koko, said that there was no evidence of an explosion seen when the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin, accompanied by the Commander of Swift Operations Squad (SOS), Mr. Uche Chukwuma and the Area Commander, visited the scene.

The PPRO said in a statement: “In the samples, no trace of IED (Improvised Explosive Device) was found at the scene and from the analysis of samples collected so far, none of the features of explosion was present and at the scene, there was no evidence of explosion; no shockwaves and no bang. The command however, observed burning that resulted in conflagrations.

“The CP also paid a visit to the High Court Judge, Justice Charles Wali, at his Ahoada residence, who confirmed that he was to preside over some cases for hearing on the day the court was attacked.

“The Rivers State Police Command has made conscious efforts to re-inforce security in court premises and judicial living quarters all around the state so as to forestall any similar happening. “The State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) and the Police Bomb Squad have been mandated to fish out the perpetrators of the crime.

“The Rivers State command in its bid to overrun criminals, who constitute a clog in the wheel of progress, has begun investigations on the matter even though no suspect has been arrested.”

News Express reports that a section of the same High Court was bombed six months ago, precisely on January 6. The judiciary in Rivers State has for months been plunged into crisis following a disagreement between Governor Chibuike Amaechi and the National Judicial Commission over the appointment of a new Chief Judge for the state.

The crisis took another dimension later yesterday when workers of the state judiciary under the aegis of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), Rivers State chapter, declared an indefinite strike after an emergency meeting that lasted for two hours at the Chief Judge’s Court, in Port Harcourt.

The workers are protesting the insecurity that has afflicted the judiciary in the state as well as the dark clouds hanging over their heads especially as Governor Amaechi has ordered that their salary should be withheld until his choice of Chief Judge is accepted.

•File photo shows a bombed High Court in Rivers State.

Source: News Express

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