The political crisis in Cross Rivers State reached new highs Friday, when police, acting on the instructions from "above" disrupted the ceremony for the inauguration of the Women and Children Hospital built in Calabar by wife of former governor of the state, Donald Duke, Onari, taking him away for interrogation midway into the ceremony.
Mr Duke was driven away in his car, sandwiched between some senior police officers, to the state police headquarters at Diamond Hill where he was interrogated and afterwards released. He returned to the venue of the ceremony just when it was over to the palpable relief of his wife and admirers. He did not witness the cutting of the tape at the reception of the hospital.
A detachment of anti-riot policemen, led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police [operations], arrived at the venue and went straight to the master of ceremony and demanded to know who were the organizers and upon being referred to Mrs. Duke, engaged her in a discussion which attracted the husband's attention.
The former governor was told in clear terms that they have orders from above to stop the ceremony and would want him to follow them to the state headquarters of the force to answer some questions. The drama between him and the police took place beside the Murtala Mohammed Highway, where the hospital is located.
There were two version of Duke's arrest. One version has it that the police were acting on a court order stopping the ceremony from taking place while the other said the law enforcement agents swooped on the venue because it was an unauthorized political meeting summoned by Mr Duke.
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