Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Hundreds of youths suspected to be members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) faction loyal to the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, with the aid of the police shut down the Rivers State judiciary Friday morning.
The youths stormed the judiciary as early as 6.45am and locked the gates of the High Court Complex, beating up both lawyers and litigants who tried to gain access into the complex while the police who came in several vans watched.
The Chief Security Officer of the complex, Mr. Douglas, told THISDAY that the youths locked the gates by 6.45am and beat up several persons.
THISDAY gathered that the move by the thugs was to forestall the court from sitting so that it would not grant an injunction sought by Senator Magnus Abe to stop the local government congress of the APC slated for Saturday.
While the police looked on, the youths padlocked the gates and chased the judges, lawyers and litigants away and laid siege to the complex.
However, the incident took a turn for the worse when another group of youths suspected to be members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and backed by another set of policemen stormed the place to open the gates.
Violence erupted as both set of youths attacked one other with bottles and other dangerous weapons and in the process destroyed some structures within the complex.
The police shot sporadically into the air and assisted to chase away the PDP group while the other group relocked the gates. The police also used tear gas to disperse the crowd.