The Rivers State Police Command has denied stopping a scheduled procession for late singer, Ilerioluwa Aloba aka Mohbad, in Port Harcourt on Saturday.
According to the state police Public Relations Officer, Grace Iringe-Koko, the claims by some persons are false as the procession held successfully.
One of the organisers of the rally simply known as Gbemisola refuted the police statement and revealed that the Commissioner of Police invited him to his office and asked him to call off the procession.
Gbemisola expressed disappointment that the police could turn around after the organisers officially applied and got police approval.
He said; “We came to honour him (Mohbad), give him our last respect. So, we wrote to them (police), they received the letter, stamped it and everything.
“So, the Commissioner of Police called that I should come to the office. So, I went there with the boss of Edy’s Wine Bar. And the next thing he said was we shouldn’t hold it, we shouldn’t do any procession on the street.
“So, we had to shift it, and say since we won’t disturb public peace let’s go to GRA, to a confine space at Edy’s Wine Bar and hold it.
“We have done the press statement and sent out a new graphic design for Saturday. So, this evening, I heard that the DSS are in Edy’s Wine Bar telling us that we shouldn’t gather at all even tomorrow.
“And you know most of the persons here didn’t get the information that it has been postponed for tomorrow. We were not working on the streets. But the DSS were already at Edy’s Wine Bar saying we shouldn’t even hold it tomorrow.”
But the police spokesperson, faulted the claims of the organisers, saying even though they did not apply for approval, the Command decided to give them protection.
Iringe-Koko said; “Police did not stop any rally; the police did not stop anyone from protesting. They came out and did it successfully. We even provided security for them; it was the rain that obstructed them. The Deputy Commissioner of Police, operations was the one in charge of it.
“They did not apply, but once we heard from the Command, we provided adequate security for them and they went on with their procession peacefully.
“Anybody saying that (police stopped the rally) is just trying to paint us black. The procession went on successfully and adequate security was provided. It was the rain that disrupted them.”