By Dennis Agbo
ABAKALIKIâ€”FOLLOWING the efforts of the Ebonyi State Police Command and the Force Headquarters, Abuja,Â 34 persons have been arrested in connection with the recent escalation of the Ezillo crisis in Ishielu Local Government Area of the state. Many lives and property had been lost in the crisis.
Parading the suspects before newsmen in Abakaliki, yesterday, the Ebonyi State Police Commissioner, CP, Mr. Dipo Ayeni said that the arrests were made possible through the combined efforts of his command and the force headquarters Abuja.
Mr. Ayeni said that in order to restore normalcy to the troubled community and to check the dastardly acts of the militants, who have become a threat to lives and property of the people ofÂ the state, especially along Abakaliki-Enugu expressway, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo ordered a large scale onslaught against the hoodlums and their hideouts.
â€œAt the apex of the operation was the Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi State with the Commissioner of police in charge of Police Mobile Force, PMF, Force Headquarters Abuja, Ag. CP. Felix Uyanna leading a formidable force,Â including the Assistant Commissioner of Police, PMF, 12 Squadron Commanders.â€
The Commissioner also said that they were able to dislodge the hoodlums from the bushes.
Those arrested including nine female suspects, who allegedly cooked for the militants, while they recovered some mobile police uniforms and charms.
The police boss assured that the road is now safe for the commuters, adding that there is no more threat to lives and property of commuters that ply the Abaklaiki-Enugu expressway.
â€œLet me at this point inform the public, particularly commuters that the Abakaliki-Enugu highway, which hitherto had become a threat to the people because of the local terrorists, is now safe and the public can ply the road without any fear or threat of attack from the undesirable enemies of the society.â€
He, however, deniedÂ rumours that the leader of the suspected militants, popularly known as Dada, who was arrested few weeks ago by the police died on his way to Abuja, adding that the suspect and the other members of his gang are hale and hearty and that they are making useful statements on the sponsors of the war to the police.
Mr. Ayeni said that the 43 suspects had all madeÂ useful statements to the police and had told the police who their sponsors are.
He called on the members of the public to go on with their normal businesses, pointing out that the police have been fully mobilized to guarantee their security.
…. As Court remands monarch, 13others over Oruku, Umuode war
By Tony Edike
ENUGUâ€”FOURTEEN persons, including the traditional ruler of Oruku in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State, Igwe Cornelius Nomeh were yesterday remanded in prison custody by an Enugu Magistrate Court for alleged murder and waging â€˜local warâ€™ against the people of Umuode community.
Also remanded in prison custody are the President General of Oruku Town Union, Mr. Okechukwu Adenyi, Dr. Charles Ukemenam, Nnaji Chigozie, Pius Nomeh,Â Betrand Nnamani, John Ani, and Sebastine Ede.
Others are Herbert Iyiagwo, Ugboeze Anayochukwu,Â Chukwu Agu, Gilbert Nnam, Ephraim Odeji and Emeka Nnamani.Â All the accused persons areÂ natives of Oruku community, which had engaged their neighbouring Umuode community in a bloody communal war since 1999.
They were arrested by the police last weekend following renewed war between the two communities, during which a native of Umuode, Ikechukwu Ugwu was reportedly killed while property worth over N500 million, including the house of former Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Barth Nnaji were destroyed.
The six-count charge preferred against the accused persons by theÂ Police,Â reads â€œthat the royal father (Igwe Nomeh), the 13 accused persons and others now at large â€œon April 2, 2010 at Umuode Nkanu East Enugu in the Nkanu East Magisterial District, did conspire amongst yourself to commit murder and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 494 of the Criminal Code Cap. 30 Vol. II Laws of Enugu State of Nigeria 2004.â€