Nigeria: Effium Killings - Ebonyi Indigenes Demand Investigation Into Escape of 55 Suspects

The Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in the Diaspora (AESID) has demanded a thorough investigation and prosecution of the Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi state, Aliyu Garba, and other security personnel for claiming that 55 suspects arrested in connection with the killings in Effium communities escaped.

A statement released to newsmen Tuesday in Abuja by the President of the association, Amb. Paschal Oluchukwu, also demanded that security personnel implicated after the investigation should be dismissed.

The statement said the Police claimed that the suspects escaped hours after they were handed over to the State's Commissioner of Police for their onward movement to the Police Command Headquarters in Abakaliki.

"That CP Garba and his men; DCOPs, DCP Chuku G.C and his orderly, Uche; 2i/c SWAT, Asp. Amaechi; Inspector Emmanuel Uko of the Anti-kidnapping Unit, Ebonyi State Police Command and other Police officers, and indeed, including the sister security agencies like some NSCDC officials involved in the said the controversial escape of the arrested suspects and so indicted, be made to face the full wrath of the law.

"They should all be diligently and uncompromisingly investigated and brought to book for their roles in the saga.

"Should they be found wanting in any way or form unbecoming of officers of the law, they should be summarily dismissed from service to serve as a deterrent to others who would wish to compromise or joke with the very serious issue of security which has become a nightmare in present-day Nigeria.

"That the Police be made to re-arrest and produce the said 55 escapees for trial as we believe that the information which they would provide and the evidence they would deduce would help in bringing these limitless killings to an end (immediate and remote)," the statement said.

While describing the development as "a soap opera", the association said it is outraged by the news reports that 55 out 66 hired militias, who were successfully arrested on Saturday Afternoon at Okpoduma village in Effium by the Nigerian military led by the GOC, Commanding 82 Division, Maj. Gen. Taoreen Lagbaja, escaped from the custody of the Nigeria Police Force.

It said: "AESID is saddened that the various security outfits in the State in secret collaboration with the government appointees whose duty it is to ordinarily protect lives and property of citizens are poignantly being accused of doing the opposite of what the law and constitution require of them.

"The fleeing of these arrested suspects have further confirmed our earlier fears and position that the warlords are merely acting a script written by some highly-placed individuals desecrating the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which they swore to uphold and defend."

AESID however, commended the Presidency for sending Vice President, Yemi Osinbanjo and Information Minister, Lai Mohammed among other dignitaries on a fact-finding mission to the troubled area.

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