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EBONYI: Police declare APGA gov candidate wanted over monarch’s murder

THE All Progressives Grand Alliance governorship candidate in the state’s 2023 elections, Prof Benard Odoh, has been declared wanted by the Ebonyi state police.

Nine other state party members and supporters also declared their participation.

SP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, the Police Public Relations Officer, made the announcement in a statement today.

Earlier today, hoodlums allegedly assassinated Odoh’s traditional ruler and supporter, Igboke Ewa.

The Ebonyi State Government, on the other hand, has accused the APGA governorship candidate of being a suspect in the monarch’s assassination.

Odoh has repeatedly denied the claim, stating that the late traditional ruler was his father and supporter, and that linking him to the occurrence would be evil and ludicrous.

The police in the statement, said, “The Ebonyi State Police Command has declared the under-listed persons wanted in connection with the murder of 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’s emergency number, 07064515001, or the nearest police station with any useful information that will lead to the arrest of the suspects.”

Nevertheless, in response to the police announcement today, the APGA candidate, Odoh, claimed that the government’s goal was to disqualify him before of the March 11, 2023 governorship elections.

He stated in a statement made accessible to journalists in Abakaliki today that the state government knew what caused the monarch’s death and was desperate to ensure justice was truncated.

“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 as follows:

“While I again, sympathise 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, 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,” the candidate said.

He said the persons listed in the said letter as being declared wanted were APGA supporters/members from his Umuezeokaoha community just as APGA had supporters in all villages and polling units across the 13 LGAs of the state.

Saying he had no other interpersonal relationships or dealings with them except that being an accomplished figure, “some of them look up to me as their role model and mentor.”

Odoh stated that he already obtained an order from the High Court, Owerri in No: HOW/194/2023 dated March 3, 2023, restraining the police and other security agencies from harassing or arresting him until the matter brought before the court was determined by the court.

“The Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, and other security agencies have been served with the court order accordingly. The IGP upon being served the said order stopped all actions in the matter with respect to the court but the Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi State who is under the IGP continued to take further action in the matter contrary to the order of the court.

“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,” he claimed.

He claimed the allegations were “politically motivated” and intended to undermine his chances of winning the Saturday’s governorship election as a leading front liner.

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