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IPOB didn’t obtain permit, rally illegal — Police


The Rivers State Police Command on Saturday said it got no written or verbal message from the Indigenous People of Biafra before the group embarked on a solidarity rally for President Donald Trump on Friday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

The state Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ahmed Magaji, disclosed this while speaking with journalists.

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He described the IPOB rally as illegal, adding that the group’s refusal to inform the command about their activity was reprehensible, unfortunate and condemnable.

Magaji, who spoke on behalf of the state Commissioner of Police, Francis Odesanya, maintained that although no life was lost, 65 persons were arrested during the protest.

“It is indeed saddening to note that before embarking on the illegal protest march, there was no official communication to the command, which in itself is reprehensible, condemnable and unfortunate.

“The police, as an agency of government, have the statutory responsibility to protect life and property at any time, which was what we practically and professionally did yesterday (Friday) to forestall what would have been a total carnage in the state.

“However, it should be noted that men of the command deployed for the operation were professional and used minimum force in containing the protesters. Note that no casualty was recorded, no death was  recorded.

“About 65 of them were arrested at different points within the metropolis, being suspected members of IPOB. Items recovered from them include some flags bearing the inscription of IPOB and other incriminating items.

“The suspects arrested have made useful statements to the police and investigation is ongoing. Further developments will be communicated in due course,” Magaji said.

He noted that the state had been experiencing peace, adding that the command was determined to sustain the tempo.

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