Communal Crisis: Ebonyi Govt alleges sabotage…as 55 suspects escape from custody

Obinna Uchendu
Abakaliki

At least, 55 suspected warlords arrested on Saturday afternoon in Effium community, Ohaukwu local government area of Ebonyi state by a combined team of security’s agencies following the renewed hospitality between the 2 communities were reportedly to have escape from custody.

The suspected warlords according to Leadership Sunday were arrested at Okpuduma village of the community with arms, other dangerous weapons and charms during a raid of the area by the General Commander, 82 Division of the Nigeria Army, Maj. Gen. Taoreen Lagbaja alongside the State Deputy, Governor Barr. Kelechi Igwe

The 82 Division Commander who was on an operational visit to the area was also accompanied by the state Commissioner of Police, Aliyu Garba, the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace, Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha.

The visit was to ensure the arrest of the suspected warlords who were said to be camping in the village despite effort by security agents to fish them out and restore nomalcy in the troubled area.

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According to Everyday News, the suspected warlords were rounded up by the security agents and recovered some guns and live cartridges including charms.

It was gathered that after the arrest of the suspects and recovery of the arms and charms, the GOC and the team proceeded to Nwekendiagu village in the community while the suspects were handed over to the police by the GOC for movement to police headquarter, Abakaliki.

It was also revealed that immediately the team left the community, 55 out the 66 suspects escaped from custody Andy their way about unknown.

In an interview with the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace, Chief Stanley Emegha, he described that escape as total sabotage on the part of security agencies.

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Emegha who accused the security agents of conspiracy and aiding the escape of the suspects, said that the Governments would be forced to use the state vigilante to end the persistent hostilities in the community.

“Our visit today was a major breakthrough by arresting those people but very unfortunate that out of the 66, security agencies that were saddled with the responsibility of guarding those people to Abakaliki compromised, as we moved, they released them and the Governor through the Deputy Governor has demanded for an explanation from the CP and the Commanding Officer.

“The Commissioner of Police was there, he saw them. It was my insitence that those people must be arrested, that these are the warriors and they shouldn’t be allowed to stay in the community. So, it is compromise on the part of the security. The reason why we have been having this problem in Effium is because the security has compromised. What happened this afternoon is very clear to every body that they have compromised”, he said

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Earlier, GOC 82 Division, Maj.Gen. Lagabaja said he was in the community to stop the hostilities.

When contacted, the state CP, Garba dismissed the claim that there was compromise on the part of the police.

He acknowledged that the aressted 66 suspects are no longer complete but refused to comment further on their escape. Ends.

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