*As communities demand release of suspects
By Emma Amaize
WARRI— POLICE have arrested and detained about seven leaders of Ogbe-Ijoh and Isaba communities in Warri South- West Local Government Area, Delta State, in connection with the bloodletting among the Ijaw communities and Aladja, an Urhobo community in Udu Local Government Area of the state.
Those being held were the Chairman of Ogbe-Ijoh, Alex Akemotubo, Secretary, Godwin Eneghan and youth president, Edwin Aken. Also in custody of the police were an octogenarian, Chief Santors Emmontoghan, representative of the Pere of Isaba, Chairman of the community, Henry Ofoleyo, Secretary, Austin Deinfegha and youth president, Moses Ogugu.
In a joint statement by Ogbe-Ijoh and Isaba communities, signed by Chief Monday Keme, they said: “The leaders were invited by the Area Commander, Warri, Friday, January 5, for a security meeting over the recent beheading of Gabriel Sibe, and taken to Asaba, thereafter. We, therefore, call on the Police authorities to direct Mr. Zanna Ibrahim, Commissioner of Police, Delta State, to release the community executives without further delay as their continued detention will ultimately lead to break down of law and order in the state.
“Ogbe-Ijoh and Isaba communities wish to draw the attention of the Inspector General of Police to the unlawful arrest and detention of the chairmen, secretaries and youth presidents of Ogbe-Ijoh and Isaba communities by the Commissioner of Police Delta State. The Commissioner of Police, Delta State, Zannah Ibrahim, invited the leadership of Aladja, Isaba and Ogbe-Ijoh communities including the traditional rulers over the recent beheading of late Mr. Gabriel Sibe, an indigene of Isaba community, who was murdered on Friday , 5th January 2016.
“Ogbe-Ijoh and Isaba communities reported to the Area Command Warri at 8a.m. and waited patiently till about 2p.m. before the Commissioner of Police arrived. Aladja community did not honour the invitation. It was alleged that Aladja community later sent the youth president and another youth to represent the community in Asaba. After taking their statements, Commissioner of Police, Delta State, directed that Ogbe-Ijoh and Isaba community executives be detained. We are surprised that Mr. Zanna Ibrahim could descend so low to detain the bereaved people, whose son was killed and beheaded and the culprits moving freely as innocent people in Aladja. The two communities went extra miles to calm down the youths not to embark on reprisal attack.”