Ebonyi massacre: Group calls for investigation into escape of 55 arrested militias

Posted by News Express | 12 April 2021 | 462 times

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•Ebonyi State Police Commissioner Aliyu Garba

 

By CHARLES IWUOHA

Following the recent alleged security sabotage in Effium Community in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, a group the Ebonyi Resonance, has called for a probe to determine what led to the escape of 55 out of the arrested 66 militias in the area.

In a press release in Abakaliki on Saturday jointly signed by its National Chairman, Evang. Justus Nkamah, and National Secretary, Mr. Bethran Ojukwu, the group condenmed the ugly development and called on the Federal Government to constitute judicial panel of inquiry to investigate the unfortunate security sabotage.

Accordingly, the group said: “We have been watching with keen interests the current security situations in Ebonyi State, especially the ongoing carnage in Effium Community, Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

“To this end, we are poised to make our position known on the recent ugly development in Effium community where 55 out of the 66 hired militias arrested in Okpoduma village by the GOC Commanding 82 Division of the Nigeria Army, Enugu, Maj. Gen. Taoreen Lagbaja, and handed over to the Police recently during a raid of some hideouts in the area allegedly escaped from the police custody.

“The Ebonyi State Command Commissioner, CP Aliyu Garba, and the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace, Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha, had confirmed to journalists this major security sabotage in the ravaged Effium community.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the freeing of 55 out of the 66 arrested hired mercenaries who have turned Effium community into a killing field since this crisis started.

“This is unbelievable and goes a long way to prove that the security agencies, especially the Nigeria Police whose constitutional role is to protect lives and property, have regrettably become the major contributor to the current security challenges facing the country.

“We wonder how police personnel who were sent on a peace mission to secure lives and property in a crisis ridden Effium community and who never made any serious effort based on our investigation to arrest the culprits, unconditionally freed 55 out of 66 arrested mercenaries by the Nigerian Army and handed over to them?

“This is even more worrisome, considering the barrage of alarms and complaints already in public domain of police brutality, extortion and connivance with some stakeholders to aid hired militias to attack and kill residents in some parts of the community.

”We therefore call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to without hesitation, constitute a judicial panel of inquiry to investigate the issues surrounding the escape of 55 out of the 66 arrested militias in Effium Community. This is to ensure that any person or group of persons that are directly or indirectly involved in this security sabotage, no matter how highly placed, are arrested and made to face the full weight of the law.

“In view of the obvious suspicion of compromise on the part of security agencies, especially the Police in the Effium crisis, ws demand the immediate redeployment of Ebonyi State Police Command, CP Aliyu Garba, under whose watchful eyes, the 55 suspects were freed, and has not been able to account for it, till date. We, therefore, call on the IGP, Usman Alkali, to act fast.

“The officers in charge of the police, Army and other security agencies on a peace mission in Effium community who superintended over this security sabotage should be redeployed out of Ebonyi State and sanctioned appropriately, in line with the relevant laws. We therefore, invite the relevant authorities to take note.

“Equally, the Federal Government must ensure that all other security personnel on a peace mission in Effium as of the time of this ugly incident should be redeployed and unbiased and professional security agents should be deployed from outside Ebonyi state to the area, for peace to return.

“We equally condemn very strongly, the silence of Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, over this issue, and other security matters which he has severally been pointed accusing fingers at. The Governor should know that his silence means acceptance, which has grieve consequence to the security of the state,” the statement reads.


Source: News Express

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