The police in Ebonyi state said it has concluded investigations to Arraign 26 suspects involved in the rifts and imbroglio that bespectacled Ekoli Edda community in Afikpo south Local government Area of the state.
Addressing newsmen in Abakaliki on Monday at the Police Headquarters, the command’s Public Relations officer (PPRO), SP Chris Anyanwu, disclosed that during the fracas, three lives were lost, houses/vehicles burned and damaged.
Anyanwu stated that based on the gravity of the offence, the Police Command embarked on an intensive intelligence-led investigation aimed at unravelling the causes and to fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly act.
The Police image maker explained that in view of the foregoing, it’s necessary to update members of the public on the outcome of the investigation conducted by the State Criminal Investigation/Intelligence Department (SCIID) of Ebonyi State Police Command, headed by DCP Clement Robert.
Police gave the Names of the suspects as Hon Eni Uduma Chima, Hon Stanley Okoro Emegha, Kenneth Okoro Agha a.k.a Mukoro, Azubuike Okoro, Okporie Nnanna Oti, Egwu Famous Chinedu and Chimeremeze Stephen Umeh
Others include; Oburu Okoro Orji,Uka Amah Orji,Orji David ,Aku Sunday, Oledi Philip,Onyemuche Uka Ama,Igwe Okoro Ozi,Eni Kalu Eni ,Chima Nnachi Kalu,Chinecherem Orji Morgan,Chima Oke Nkama,Okechukwu Mba,Okoro Ifeanyi,Ukam Igbor,Nnamdi Omeoha, Ikechukwu Omiko ,Obinna Ugoba, Onuorah Nnamdi Isaac and Tochukwu Alo.
Exhibits Recovered from the suspects include One AK47 rifle and live ammunition, Two Pump-Action rifles,
One dane gun, One village gong, One trumpet, and Three AK47 magazines.
Anyanwu further revealed that during the mayhem, Esien Kalu Egwu, Insp Festus Akpan Emy Orji were Killed in the process, while House belonging to APC Chairman, Toyota Hilux van, Toyota Sienna space bus, One motorcycle, One provision shop doors and windows also were burnt.
According to the Police, the key actors among the suspects arrested volunteered useful “confessional statements” that exposed the aggregate of overwhelming findings.
It was gathered that fracas engulfed Ekoli Edda on 26 December 2022, ignited during a face-off between the security aides of Hon Stanley Okoro Emegha, the All Progressives Congress (APC) state Chairman and a faction of Ekoli-Edda youth believed to be loyalists of Hon Eni Uduma Chima, APC’S House of Representatives Candidate for Afikpo south/ Afikpo North federal constituency in the February 25, election.
“The protracted political rivalry/supremacy struggle between the duo is the cause of the showdown that took place. Interestingly, the two political stalwarts hail from the same community, belong to the same political party and even live in close proximity.
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“The visit of the APC Chairman to his village on that fateful day, with his aides, infuriated the fragment of the youths in the area who are purportedly adherents of Hon Eni Uduma Chima, hence the showdown that ensued
“The war songs chanted by Egwu Famous Chinedu, the Town Crier, amidst hitting/blowing of his gong/trumpet, respectively, galvanized the youth into further action, hence, the rampage and escalation of the brouhaha.”
Police added that the investigation further revealed that an attempt to arrest one Aruah, a leader of the Ekoli-Edda Youth warriors, brought in the warriors who were reserved for the purpose of fighting in the Boundary Dispute between them and a neighbouring community in Cross River State.
Anyanwu, Continuing stated that the said warriors wielded sophisticated prohibited firearms and their actions further degenerated the situation.
While stating that the prompt intervention Chief Security Officer of the State, Governor David Umahi, went a long way to abate the hostilities.
So far, the Ebonyi state government has constituted a Board of Enquiry and Reconciliation committee headed by Senator Sunny Ogbuorji.
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