Rivers to Auction Vehicles Impounded for Flouting Lockdown

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Paulinus Nsirim
  • Wike DCP of sabotaging lockdown

Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

The Rivers State Government has directed its Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to auction all vehicles that were impounded for violating the state’s lockdown directive.

Also, as residents of Port Harcourt City and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas of Rivers State began the first day of the lockdown ordered by the state, the state Governor, Nyesom Wike, has accused the state Deputy Commissioner of Police, Adamu Abubakar, of attempting to sabotage the directive by issuing waivers to some companies.

The government also warned residents of ward 20, Amadi-Ama in Port Harcourt local government area (LGA) and Mgbuosimini, Rumueme in Obio/Akpor LGA to desist from flouting the directives on lockdown.

In a statement issued yesterday the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Paulinus Nsirim, the state government said it would “deal decisively” with any residents found guilty of such action.

It directed those interested in the auctioned vehicles to get more details in some selected newspapers.

“Government will deal decisively with the residents of these areas if they are found to default again,” it said.

“Anyone parading exemption letters except the one issued by the Governor is doing so at his or her own risk as such permits are invalid.

“The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice has been directed to auction all the vehicles that violated the lockdown order.

“Members of the public who are interested to buy the auctioned vehicles are to watch out for details in The Sun, The Nation and Vanguard Newspapers.”

Governor Nyesom Wike had earlier directed that any hotel or taxi found operating during the lockdown should be impounded and auctioned.

In an interview in Port Harcourt after monitoring the level of compliance yesterday, Wike said the deputy police commissioner issued illegal letters to companies.

According to him, “It is unfortunate to see the level of sabotage that we get from the police, particularly the deputy commissioner of police, operations, Rivers State Police Command.

“The deputy commissioner of police will sign approvals for companies. I am the governor of this state and there cannot be two governors.”

He said the approvals issued by the police or any other authorities, outside the office of the Rivers State governor, are illegal.

Wike said: “The state deputy commissioner of police has no power to issue approvals when the state government has locked down the state. After the State Security Council met and agreed on the lockdown, the DCP went ahead to issue illegal letters to companies to operate. I have never seen that in my life.”