Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
The Police in Ebonyi State has confirmed the arrest of seven suspects over the murder of a top Monarch, Eze Igbokwe Ewa.
The 76 years old Monarch was killed on the 27th day of February, in his Umu-Ezekoha Community, Ezza North Local Government area by gunmen.
Police spokesperson, Onome Onovwakpoyeya, in a statement said the arrest of the subjects followed a formal complaint at the Divisional Police Headquarters Achiagu Ezza North LGA by the son of the deceased, Igboke Samuel Onyema.
She noted that a petition dated 1st March, 2023, was also received by the Police from St. Sen Solicitors on behalf of Prince Igboke Collins Emeka and family.
“Shortly, the complainant made useful statement to the Police indicting one Prof. Bernard Odoh and 9 others,” she said
The spokesperson noted that in the course of investigation seven suspects out of ten were apprehended.
They are: Nnabuike Emmanuel Egede ‘m’ 26yrs old aka Champaign, Chukwudi Aliewa ‘m’ 28yrs aka Ezza get boys, Obinna Nwampepe ‘m’ 39yrs aka Nwampepe, Uchenna Eze ‘m’ 28yrs, Nwogha George ‘m’ 29yrs old, Nnamdi Paul ‘m’ and Odo Kenneth ‘m.’
Mrs Onome further states that during interrogation, three of the suspects made useful confessional statement to the Police and mentioned some of their collaborators in the gruesome murder of the Monarch who are presently at large.
“In addition, one of the suspects further deposed in his statement that the suspects/collaborators now at large work for one Professor Benard Odoh as his strong men with an Hilux Jeep given to them for mobility.”
“Investigation further reveals that some of the alleged collaborators were with Professor Benard Odoh in his village on the 24th and 25th of February, 2023 where the attack was being planned and concluded before it was dastardly executed,” she said.
APGA candidate reacts
Reacting, Mr Odoh accused the Police of collaborating with APC government in the state to rope Professor Odoh into a murder mess he knows nothing about.
His Media Aide and Director Media and Publicity of his Odohzhia Ebonyi Campaign Council, Charles Out, said information available to it is that the Monarch’s death was linked to an Enugu State indigene.
He said: “The Ebonyi State Police Command and its actors in this matter have serially shown its biases towards our candidate and confirm the fact that it is rather acting a strange script handed down to it by some powerful forces in the APC-led Ebonyi State Government.”
“Weeks after arresting some suspects in connection to the murder, we of course got a reliable information that the suspects have made reasonable confessions and that the murder was linked to an Enugu State ‘big man’ who was allegedly angered by the alleged killing of his brother in the palace of the monarch sometime ago.”
“We also reliably got hints that the Police were mobilising for the arrest of some four principal suspects based in Enugu allegedly named by the arrested suspects during interrogation.”
“While we all waited for the usual conclusion of investigations and arrests so that the suspects can be customarily paraded and interviewed by the Media, the Police now came public with this jaundiced Press statement,” he said.
Mr Otu said the accusation is an attempt by the Police to divert the attention of the unsuspecting members of the public from the real issues it may have uncovered in the murder.
Mr Otu advised the Police to refrain from actions that may seem patently unprofessional to the rest of reasonable members of the Nigerian public and tackle the matter without seeming biases that tend to give it out as a thoroughly compromised entity.
“For there’s no how our Governorship candidate whose gate is open to his people of all colours, race and size and who has faced the most dastardly attacks on his life and campaign train could have been with any group of supporters or individuals for that matter to plot to kill his own monarch.
“He has repeatedly said there was no love lost between them but he was remarkably the first to offer him royal blessings in the race for Ebonyi Government House,” he said.