An atmosphere of uncertainty pervaded Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on Wednesday as youths from the area took to the streets to protest the detention of their monarch, King of Akpor Kingdom, Eze Anele Agbaraka Oriebe.
The traditional ruler was said to have been invited by the Rivers State Police Command on Tuesday and detained on the orders of the state police commissioner, Mr. Joseph Mbu, till the following day, a development that infuriated the youths of the area.
The angry youths, according to the Legal Adviser to Akpor Council of Chiefs, Chief Godwin Agbaraosimini, barricaded Ozuoba Road to express their anger over the detention of Oriebe.
The police, according to Agbaraosimini, later came to disperse the protesting Obio/Akpor youths with teargas. He said one of the protesters was injured and rushed to the hospital.
He said, “The youths took to the streets because of the detention of their king by the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph Mbu. It is a taboo for our king to sleep outside his palace.
“But the police came and dispersed them with teargas when they blocked Ozuoba Road. As I speak with you, one of the youths was injured and lying critically ill in the hospital”.
Narrating the circumstance that led to the invitation and detention of Oriebe, Agbaraosimini said some members of the king’s family had gone to a parcel of land belonging to the family with a bulldozer to clear to clear the land.
The counsel said the family members, who came to clear the land with police escort, were members of the Grassroots Develop Initiative, GDI, a political group working for the actualization of supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike’s governorship ambition.
He said when the king learnt about the development, he quickly ran to the place and queried the presence of policemen and some members of the family on the land but the policemen threatened to shoot him if he tried to stop the family members from achieving their mission on the piece of land.
“The king, who is the head of the family, was invited the following day by the state police headquarters and was surprisingly detained. They (police) even insulted him and called him Amaechi’s chief.
“You can see that the arrest of our king was politically-motivated. Paramount rulers all over the country are always loyal to their governors and Governor Rotimi Amaechi had elevated the stool of our king from a second class stool to a first class stool.
“The presence of policemen on the land showed that the whole thing was a setup to ridicule our king. Akpor people have been very sad over the development”, he said.
However, Oriebe was released by the police on Wednesday.
“The youths had before embarking on the protest given the police till noon on Wednesday to release their king”, the lawyer added.
Confirming his release, the Rivers Police spokesperson, DSP Ahmad Mohammad said, “I cannot give you all the details now. But all I will tell you is that he (King Oriebe) was invited yesterday (Tuesday) for questioning and was released today (Wednesday)”.