The Ebonyi State Police Command has declared the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, governorship candidate, Prof Benard Odoh wanted over the gruesome murder of the traditional ruler of Umu-Ezekoha Community in Ezza North, Eze Christopher Igboke Ewa.
The victim was reportedly shot by an assassin at about 8:30 p.m of the fateful day, in his palace.
In a statement by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, PPRO, SP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, the Command urged citizens of the State to assist in the arrest of the suspects.
According to her: “The Ebonyi State Police Command has declared the under-listed persons wanted in connection with the murder of his Royal Highness Eze Christopher Igboke Ewa of Umu-Ezekoha Community in Ezza North.
Their names are as follows, Prof. Bernard Odoh, Samuel Onyekachi Aligwe, Peter Orogwu (aka one boy), Chukwudi Aliewa (aka Ezza), Chika Ezealigbo, Nnaemeka Egede (aka Champaign), Nnabuike Okohu, Ogobuchi Agbom (aka Okiri), Nonso Obasi and Ikechukwu Nwoba (aka Solid).
“The Command urges the good people of Ebonyi State and the general public to assist in apprehending the suspects if seen or call the Command emergency number 07064515001 or the nearest Police station with any useful information that will lead to the arrest of the suspects.”
Reacting, Professor Benard Ifeanyi Odoh, APGA Governorship candidate for Ebonyi State described the Police statement declaring him ‘wanted’ as strange and subjudice.
“My attention has been drawn to a publication by the Nigeria Police Force, Ebonyi State Command, in a letter; AZ: 5200/EBS/DFA/PPRO/VOL.8/249 dated 06/03/2023 and I wish to state and react to it,” he began.
“That while I again, sympathize with the family over this very painful, unfortunate and tragic loss, I reiterate my earlier positions in the media that I know nothing, absolutely NOTHING about the assassination of my Traditional Ruler, HRH. Ezeogo Igboke Ewa of Umuezeokaoha in Ezza North LGA of Ebonyi State and the Chairman of Ezza Traditional Rulers.
“That the allegations against me in the said publication are all false in every material fact, malicious, baseless, spurious and should be totally discountenanced by the general public. For the Nigerian law still presumes an accused person innocent until proven guilty by a Court of competent jurisdiction.
“That the persons listed in the said letter as being declared wanted are APGA supporters/members from my Umuezeokaoha community just as APGA has supporters in all villages and polling units across the 13 LGAs of Ebonyi state.
“That I don’t have other inter-personnel relationships or dealings with them except that being an urbane and accomplished figure, some of them look up to me as their role model and mentor.
“That I have already obtained an Order from the High Court, Owerri in No: HOW/194/2023 dated 3rd day of March, 2023 restraining the police and other security agencies from harassing or arresting me until the matter brought before the court is determined by the court.
“That the IGP and other security agencies have been served with the court order accordingly. The IG upon being served the said order stopped all actions in the matter in respect to the Court but the CP Ebonyi State who is under the IG continued to take further action in the matter contrary to the order of Court.
“Further, that the Family of Late Eze filed a suit in Suit Number HBA/47MC/2023 alleged that the CP Ebonyi State has compromised by failing to arrest me and Ebonyi High Court has not determined the matter yet CP Ebonyi State continued to take steps over the matter that is subjudice.
“That I am not on the run and cannot be said to be on the run for any reason whatsoever but pursuing and seeking the resolution of the false and misleading allegations brought against me through legal and peaceful means.
“That the allegations are politically-motivated and intended to undermine my chances of winning this Saturday’s Governorship election in Ebonyi state which I am the leading frontliner.
“That, I, Professor Benard Ifeanyi Odoh therefore, urge my supporters across Ebonyi State and beyond to remain calm, focused and resolute in our efforts to win this coming Gubernatorial election and liberate our people from the prevailing constant harassment and intimidations.
“I finally pray that the Lord Almighty will continue to grant us the wisdom, grace and ability to manage this critical and crucial moment of our campaigns and stir us to a resounding victory!’
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