By Ovasa Ogaga,
The New Commissioner of Police, Delta State Command, CP Ari Muhammed Ali, has assured members of the State branch of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) that the case between Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi and his staff will continue to its logical conclusion.
The Commissioner of Police who played host to the women lawyers in his office at Asaba said that on resumption as CP, he was not briefed about the pending case before hosting the female lawyers.
He disclosed that “Chief Gbagi was here yesterday and in my usual manner, I received him as a former Minister and a gentleman and a Nigerian too who felt it wise to see their new Commissioner. Here, I operate an open-door policy, no one comes into my office without seeing me.
“If you come here, I will receive you and listen to you. It depends on what the subject matter is. If it is the one that I will gladly give you the audience that you need, fine. If it is not, I will tell you I am very sorry. In his own case, I must sincerely say I am an innocent person. These whole facts that you have just disclosed now, are not known to me at all.
“I thought he came here just like any other person, to meet the new Commissioner of police, and then we move forward from there, not knowing that he came with another agenda.
“Honestly speaking, nobody ever briefed me on this. I just got to know of it yesterday in the evening when OC legal told me that, that man has spread the pictures he took with you yesterday everywhere on the Internet. I did not know that there was an agenda. On a very serious note, that is just my story of an innocent person who did not know the situation of things on the ground before.
He, however, assured that; “now that I know, I am assuring all of you that I am taking exception from there. The matter in court will continue the way it is. If the court says anything, so be it. I am glad to know that police have concluded their investigations and the matter has already been taken to court, so be it. He can never come to the police for that. So, count me out of the matter,” he added.
Earlier in her address, the Chairperson of FIDA, Mrs. Stella Maris Emejulu, told the new Delta State Commissioner of police, that they were in his office to welcome him to the state and to assure him too that they as social crusaders and an advocate of justice for the oppressed, they were at the police command to assure him of a continued partnership which they had with his predecessor.
She explained to the Commissioner about the incident that happened at Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi Signatious hotel in Effurun, in September last year where some staff of the hotel was dehumanized on the allegations of a missing N5000 as those allegedly involved were stripped naked, lock up for days, filmed and the video released into the Internet went viral and they were later arraigned in court before the intervention of Human Rights groups including FIDA.
She told the CP how the former Minister was invited not (arrested ) to give his own account at the Delta State Police Command, instead, he told the CP that he was burying his sister and never came to the police headquarters but choose to remain in hiding at Abuja with several court injunctions, restraining the police from arresting him.
FIDA further remarked that when he failed to show up, the police went to the hotel and arrested those staff who were compelled to film the staff as they confessed that they never intended to do so but were allegedly forced to carry out the action against their fellow staff by their boss.
The women lawyers advised the new Police CP to stay off the matter since it is already in court with the arrested staff waiting for justice to prevail at the end.
She told the CP, “If you are not careful, about him, who has said those things about your predecessor, indicting him to have been bribed to the tune of N10m so that he Gbagi could be hunted, he could say worst things about you.
“Our national leader is in support of this battle, the Presidency and state governments are equally against violent attacks on persons. So, they are in support of our fight to end this menace in the country.
She debunked the allegations from some quarters that their quest for justice was politically motivated, explaining that their interest in the case was that the injustice meted to those involved was too dehumanizing as against the backdrop of the crime they were alleged to have committed.