Imo Government has distanced the state-controlled vigilance group, Ebubeagu, from the recent killing of three family members in Okporo Community of Orlu Local Government Area, saying it was the handiwork of its enemies. Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba, who made the assertion in a statement in Owerri, condemned the allegation making the rounds that the vigilantes carried out the dastardly killing.
Emelumba described as unfortunate and provocative the haste with which enemies of the state government rush to the press to level accusations against it in order to score cheap political points.
According to him, “while it is only the police that can make a definite pronouncement on the perpetrators of the crime at the conclusion of exhaustive investigation, the Imo Vigilante was not responsible at all.”
The Commissioner explained that it was ironical that the group being accused of the killing actually took the wounded to the hospital when they were informed of the attack.
“The vigilante operates under the law, infact they work under the supervision of the police and therefore cannot engage in any extra judicial killings,” he submitted. He warned purveyors of such dangerous and fake news to desist from stoking the embers of crisis in the state.
He stated: “Some of them said it was Imo Vigilante, others said it was Fulani militia, thus creating ethnic tension. My appeal is that they should allow the police do their job.
“Contrary to the wild allegation of the opposition, the vigilante was not set up to witch hunt anybody but to assist the security agencies to maintain law and order.
They are not mad as to murder people in cold blood. For the avoidance of doubt, Imo Vigilante is not responsible for the Okporo killings. Mischief makers should stop linking them to the crime.” Three members of a family in Okporo Community in Orlu Local Government Area were last week shot dead allegedly by operatives of Ebubeagu during one of their raids in the area.
The vigilantes were said to have stormed the family house in the early hours of Saturday and shot three persons while allegedly searching for youths in the family for unknown reasons.