… allegation is funny, preposterous – Ebonyi Govt
…Am not aware of the such directive; criminals will face the full weight of the law -Ebonyi Commissioner of Justice
By Peter Okutu,Abakaliki
The Edda clan under the auspices of Edda Identity, in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, yesterday called on the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba; the Amnesty International, the Federal Ministry of Interior; the Federal Ministry of Defense; among others to immediately transfer the case files of killers of a police inspector, Insp. Festus Akpan, two youths and a seven-month-old pregnant woman, to Forces Headquarters Abuja, for proper investigation and trial.
This was as the group alleged that the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of the state, Barr. Cletus Ofoke has allegedly moved the case file of the suspects in custody of the police and court, in a bid to set the killers free, without the involvement of a Court of competent jurisdiction.
The Convener of Edda Identity, a socio-cultural organisation in the Afikpo South Council area, Julius Oji (aka Ochiri Edda) stated this in a statement, on Wednesday.
According to him, “There is a grand plot and arrangement by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Ebonyi State, Cletus Ofoke, acting on the orders of the Ebonyi State Government, to move the case file of these suspects and killers, from the police and court authorities in the state, in a bid to release the suspects, without trial.
“We, the people of Edda reject this move and we call on the Inspector-General of Police; Amnesty International; the National Security Adviser and the Ministry of Interior to intervene.
“We, the people of Edda frown at the unpopular and unacceptable move by the Ebonyi State Government, to release these suspects from police custody without trial and proper arraignment in a competent court of law.
“Their idea is to release these criminals before the elections, for them to continue their killing spree and we, the people of Edda reject this move, because it’s against our peace and collective existence, as a people. And we, therefore, demand the transfer of this matter and the case of these suspects to Forces Headquarters/Abuja, for proper trial and adjudication.”
Recall that Insp. Akpan, two youths and a pregnant woman were allegedly killed between December 26, 2022, and January 1, 2023, by suspected hoodlums in the area..
Consequently, Governor Umahi set up a Panel of Inquiry to, among other things, find out the remote and immediate causes of the crisis.
Reacting to the allegation, the Special Assistant to Governor David Umahi on Media and Strategy, Mr. Chooks Oko
“This is as funny as it is preposterous. Police already told the whole world how the proceedings are faring, what more do they want? I cannot answer for the police so you should ask them really. Using who for election?
“Sounds stupid really. How can a working government, acknowledged as the best in the country be hoping to use people charged with crime to campaign? Ebonyi APC is rock solid on the ground, we don’t need cheap labour to win an election our works have already won for us.”
In his own reaction, the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Barr. Cletus Ofoke explained that he was not aware of any directive by Ebonyi State Government for criminals to be freed.
“Criminals will face the full weight of the law. Ebonyi State Government will never give such directive. “
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