A Nigerian senator charges police shot him in the chest with a rubber bullet but police deny using ammunition to break up a protest in oil-rich Rivers State.

The southern state has been in turmoil since Gov. Rotimi Amaechi recently defected from President Goodluck Jonathan's party, which has fractured over his perceived desire to run for re-election in 2015.

Police said a bomb exploded last week at a courthouse where a judge was to decide on a ruling barring a pro-Jonathan lawmaker from becoming speaker of the state assembly. The two parties accused each other in the bombing.

Rivers State spokesman Ibim Sementari said police in Port Harcourt on Sunday shot Sen. Magnus Abe "at point-black range," causing internal bleeding. Deputy Superintendent Ahmad Muhammad Monday called it "a blatant lie."