A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has remanded 75 persons to the Correctional Centre on alleged conspiracy in the murder of the District Police Officer of Ahoada Police Division, SP Bako Angbashim.
This is as Ekpeye Youths Worldwide and the National Union of Ekpeye Students have called for an end to the seeming politicisation of the killings going on in their area.
The suspects, who are standing trial on two counts bothering on Conspiracy to murder and sponsorship of cultism, in charge sheet number PHC/3208/CR/2023, were picked after Angbashim was killed and decapitated by cults terrorising Ahoada East Local Government Area, led by David Gift Okpala Okpolowu, popular called 2baba.
Those remanded included a former Chairman of Ahoada East LGA, Cassidy Ikegbidi, Eze Ekpeye Logbo, His Royal Majesty Eze, Ngozi Angwo and over 73 others.
The defendants, who were arraigned in court by the Commissioner of Police, did not take their plea as the bail application by one of the defendant’s lawyers, Dejo Lamikara, was opposed by the prosecuting counsel, Eniyepere Sikpi, a Superintendent of Police.
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But the trial Judge, Justice Sika Apirioku after listening to the argument by the lawyers, ordered that the defendants be remanded to Port Harcourt correctional centre and adjourned the case till 21st November for plea and bail consideration.
However, the Secretary General of Ekpeye Youth Worldwide, Adokiye Oyagiri, and the President General of the National Union of Ekpeye Students, King Ngozi, have condemned what they described as the politicisation of the killings in Ekpeye by an alleged sponsored group, Concerned Ekpeye for Peace and Development.
Speaking, Oyagiri, in Port Harcourt yesterday, stated that some youths of the area were being used to make incitive statements against the leader of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Edison Ehie, who represents Ahoada East Constituency II.
He said: “I think it is everybody’s right to talk about the insecurity but where there is an issue is when people begin to make false allegations and claims that they can not be substantiated.
“We all know that immediately after the DPO of Ahoada East was killed, the Governor placed a bounty of N100 million on the killers of the DPO, and till today we are yet to hear from the police if he has been captured or not.
Ahoada East is governed by a sitting chairman, who bears the responsibility of security because he receives security votes. We think the motive of the group is connected to the political crisis going on in the state. And I think they are trying to discredit Edison Ehie.
When there is insecurity, people tend to politicise it and start taking sides. It is wrong to blame people individually but blame institutions that are responsible for our day-to-day lives.
Also, the President General of the National Union of Ekpeye Students, King Ngozi, condemned the statement by the Conference of Concerned Ekpeye for Peace and Development, that Edison Ehie, has refused to take any action on the killings in his area as politically motivated.
He noted that in his capacity Ehie has taken steps to end the crisis in the area which is not under his constituency as he, Ehie, is from constituency I.
He said: “As a matter of serious concern, Rt. Hon. Edison Ehie has been and he is still one of the best politicians we have in Ekpeye land going by his track record. The people of Ekpeye land are very happy with his leadership direction because of his unquantified good deeds.”