Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
Ebonyi State Government has described the ruling on the disbandment of Ebubeagu security outfit by the Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki as a miscarriage of justice and the law.
The court had in a judgment delivered by Justice Fatun Riman ordered the disbandment of Ebubeagu security outfit and declared the outfit, which was established by the Ebonyi State House of Assembly as illegal and unconstitutional.
The Judge further called on Nigeria Police and the Department of State Services to disarm Ebubeagu Operatives of all their guns and ammunition in the State.
The Government at a joint press briefing by the Commissioner of Information and State orientation, Uchenna Orji, the Principal Secretary, Emmanuel Obasi, and the State Security Consultant, Stanley Okoro Emegha, at the old Government House, Abakaliki, said the judgment cannot stand.
Mr Uchenna Orji said the state government has filed for stay of execution and is prepared to pursue the matter to a logical conclusion via the courts.
He also noted that prior to yesterday’s ruling, a state high court, which is a court of coordinate jurisdiction, had ruled on a similar matter upholding and recognising the existence of the outfit.
“It cannot stand the fury furnace of the law. It’s a miscarriage of the law. We will pursue the case till it gets to the Supreme court. We believe in the constitution.
“We believe in the capacity of the House of Assembly to make law. Ebonyi State is responsive to its responsibility. Let it be known that we have got nothing in conflict with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We have done nothing wrong with the exclusive list. It is a clear case of miscarriage of the law. At the Appeal we are going to be victorious. The legal team of the State Government is already filing an appeal on the matter.
“We have not done anything in contest with the police. We are very much confident, that we will be victorious. We have a State that’s peaceful. Ebonyi remains one of the safest states, because of how we have conducted ourselves under the constitution. Ebubeagu role is that of community policing.
“We are aware that opposition elements have been hibernating under the guise of sit-at-home to be sponsoring killings in the State. There are litanies of the murder of Ebubeagu security operatives.”
Meanwhile, over one thousand youths from various local government areas of the state, have staged a peaceful protest in Abakaliki over the disbandment of the Ebubeagu security outfit by the Federal High Court.
The protesters who were seen chanting a war song, carried placards with various inscriptions: “We love Ebubeagu,” “Ebonyi youths stand with Ebubeagu,” “Ebubeagu has come to stay in Ebonyi state,” “Ebubeagu for peace and security of Ebonyi state,” “No security, no peace.”
The leader of the protesters, Comrade Stanley Kamali said: “We will not accept that judgment that was delivered by Justice Fatun Riman of the Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki. Ebubeagu operatives have come to stay because we are comfortable with the security they are providing for us,” he stated.
Principal secretary, Emmanuel Obasi, tasked the protesters to be of good conduct, and assured them of the preparedness of the Governor to follow all legal proceedings to ensure that the judgment is quashed.