The Ekoli Edda community in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari and Police Inspector General Usman Baba on Tuesday about the state government’s alleged subtle move to release people accused of the murder of a woman pregnant. police inspector and other youth from the community.
A leader of the Peoples’ Democratic Party in Ebonyi State, Chief Julius Oji, who revealed the development in Abakaliki, accused the Ebonyi State government of trying to release the suspects, currently in police custody, without a proper trial for by a competent court of law.
DAILY POST recalls that Police Inspector Festus Akpan and two civilians were killed on December 26, 2022, when thugs clashed with security officers in a gun battle in the Ekoli Edda community.
Governor David Umahi had established an investigative panel to, among other things, find out the remote and immediate causes of the crisis in the community.
However, Chief Oji, who is one of the conveners of Edda Identity, a socio-political community group, in a signed statement made available to journalists in Abakaliki, claimed that the panel is a ruse to divert public attention. of pertinent issues. affairs.
Oji, who accused the governor of playing politics on the crisis, pointed to the panel’s damaging stances, as reflected in its alleged advice to suspects who testified to “go and make peace” with each other rather than allow the law to follow. its course.
“This is something totally different from what the people of Edda want. Why the cover up here and there now? Instead of dealing with major issues on the ground, the panel is busy with minor issues that will ultimately not bring lasting peace to Edda. For example, a certain John Emegha went there and they said that he used to post something on Facebook and he should stop doing it,” Oji said.
He further opined that the panel was set up to mislead the Edda people, claiming that the ulterior motive was to release the suspects and set them free.
“They are not going to come out clear to tell us who killed those people, who killed the policemen and who burned those houses in Edda. This is totally unacceptable to us and it is important that the whole world hear our cries now. Therefore, we demand the arraignment and trial of those suspects, to deter others in the future,” he said.
He further said that the people of Ekoli Edda had rejected all the moves of the governor to release the suspects before the elections.
The community, he said, applauded the Police Inspector General for the efforts made so far to restore order in the community.
“We also call on President Muhammadu Buhari to deploy special forces to the Edda clan to prevent further assassinations in the future,” Oji said.
In a quick reaction, Assistant Governor Umahi Chooks Okoh, special assistant for media and strategy, said: “It is very unfortunate that this is coming from someone who should know better. Should things be done through due process or through the thoughts and whims of one person?
“Police have arrested people and released those who believe they have no questions to answer, should the supposedly innocent be punished because someone somewhere believes they are guilty?”
On the charge that the commission is biased, Okoh said: “With such a jaundiced provision, the commission can be called by any name that person chooses. A commission headed by a former senator, a puppet?
He added: “All I can assure you is that Governor Umahi wants a lasting peace in Edda and the composition of the commission will certainly achieve it. Not everything is political, this is not.