By Emma Amaize
ASABA—POLICE in Delta State have charged the nine leaders of Ogbe-Ijoh, Isaba and Aladja communities in Warri South-West and Udu Local Government Areas, of the state, arrested a few days ago, before a Magistrate Court in Asaba, for promoting native war, murder, arson and kidnapping.
Vanguard learned that all the leaders were remanded at Ogwashi-Uku prison, on the orders of the court, Tuesday, pending when their case would be heard.
This came as Urhobo Process Union, UPU, Udu Kingdom chapter, called for the unconditional release of the three Aladja leaders, saying they were tricked to Asaba on the guise of attending a peace meeting, only to be detained.
Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Delta State Police Command, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, who confirmed their arraignment in a statement, gave the names of the suspects as Onatomre Wisdom ‘m’ 30 years, of Ovwian/Aladja; Pastor Kingsley Uwavwahor of Ovwian/Aladja and Harrison Beta of Ovwian/Aladja.
Others were Ofoleyon Henry, 50 year, of Isaba; Ogugu Moses, 36 years, of Isaba; Austin Deinfegba, adult, of Isaba; Alex Akemutubo, adult, of Ogbe- Ijoh; Aken Edwin, 38 years, of Ogbe-Ijoh and Godwin Enighan of Ogbe-Ijoh.
He said: ”If the police see the need for the substitution of the charges, we will do that because of the dimension the matter has taken and we will arrest more persons if that will make them to see reason and stop the killings. The Commissioner of Police, Zanna Ibrahim, as the chief law enforcer in the state, directed detectives to identify and arrest the masterminds of the crisis from the communities so as to achieve the peace and prevent the hostilities from escalating into a full blown tribal war, hence the arrest.”
He urged leaders from the warring communities to publicly condemn the atrocities going on, rather than keeping quiet, adding: “We are happy that a youth group in Udu made a call for cessation to hostilities by the warring communities.”
Meantime, UPU Youth Wing, Udu Kingdom chapter, yesterday, called for the unconditional release of the three Aladja leaders, saying they were tricked to Asaba under the guise of attending a peace meeting, only to be detained.
In a statement by its president, Sunday Subi, the youths demanded that “the militant youths of Isaba should vacate from the bush of Ayama, Epame and Aladja communities and also stop stealing their farm produce, kidnapping and killing of innocent farmers, who go about their normal business. Government should rebuild Epame, Ayama and resettle the people, who are now refugees in their own land and order Isaba and Ogbe-Ijoh people to vacate the bush. Government must caution Isaba and Ogbe-Ijoh kingdoms against the threat to continue the attacks on Aladja community. They should note that other Udu communities may not watch Aladja being wiped out as they did to Ayama and Epame, two kingdoms against (3) three communities of Udu.”