Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
Ebonyi State Government has exonerated the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Stanley Okoro Emegha and the party’s House of Representatives candidate, Eni Uduma Chima from the 2022 boxing day violence which led to the death of at least three persons.
It said their exoneration followed confessions extracted by suspects arrested by the police after the crisis which happened in Ekoli Edda community in Afikpo South Local Government Area.
Both APC stalwarts were accused of inciting violence which allegedly led to killings and the destruction of valuables in Ekoli Edda community.
A youth leader, a Police officer and Emegha’s brother were killed while properties including Mr Emegha’s house and vehicle were set ablaze.
A preliminary report by the police two days after the incident indicted Emegha and Eni.
They report released by Police Spokesperson, Chris Anyanwu, said the duo were fighting for political supremacy in Ekoli Edda community, leading to clashes among their supporters.
Following the preliminary report, Governor Umahi ordered the arrest of the duo though they were later released.
The state government on Tuesday explained that Emegha and Eni were exonerated based on the confession made by suspects arrested over the incident.
Commissioner of Information and State Orientation, Mr Uchenna Orji, said Governor David Umahi during this week’s Executive Council Meeting approve the setting up of a committee to broker peace between Eni Uduma and Stanley Emegha and their loyalists.
Orji said, the State Executive Council noted the fact that the statements from the suspects did not indict the duo of Hon. Barr. Eni Uduma Chima and Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha of any complicity in the needless attack.
“EXCO directed that a Peace and Reconciliation Committee be set up in the afflicted area.”
He said the Committee will be Chaired by Senator Sonny Ogbuoji while Mr Nkama Nkama Ude will serve as Secretary.
Other members of the Committee are: Dr. (Amb.) Michael Okoro, Prince Etta Uka, Engr. Kalu Ama Mba, John Igwe, Prof. Ibiam Ekpe, Engr. Hon. Ufere Okoroafor and Ama Kalu Ikwor.
He said the Committee is charged with resolving the conflicts between brothers and sisters of Ekolli Edda and institute a permanent spirit of forgiveness and peace among the people of Ekolli Edda.
Mr Orji noted that all suspects in custody over the crisis will be charged to court to answer for their crimes.