Leadership tussle, alleged N567m fraud rock Koko
Hostility among members of Koko Community Management Authority(KCMA) has heightened.
Koko is the administrative headquarters of Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State.
Some suspected political thugs attacked executive members of KCMA and destroyed properties worth several millions over its leadership.
The face-off had sparked a protest in the sleepy town on Monday when hundreds of irate youths stormed the Koko Divisional Police Headquarters in a commando style and attacked elected members of the KCMA.
The KCMA executive members led by its secretary, Hon. Mimi Solomon, had gone to perfect the bail conditions of two elders in the community allegedly arrested on the orders of a rival political group. They said they were ambushed at the police station by some political rivals in the community and their thugs.
When The Guardian visited the community, Solomon who said he and several other members of KCMA narrowly escaped death and in critical condition at Delta State University Teaching Hospital in Oghara following matchet cuts inflicted on him.
He alleged that armed youths assaulted them in a bid to overthrow the leadership of the KCMA.
Solomon said the youths stormed the police station and brutally attacked.
Solomon explained that two elders, namely Papa Richmond Atsenuwa (aged 94 years) and Papa Emmanuel Kpenose, were detained by the police on the orders of the youths, who are determined to foment trouble in the community following the investigation of their alleged embezzlement of the community funds amounting to N567 million.
“My Camry car was destroyed beyond repair. Several youths in the premises of Koko police station, sustained various degrees of injuries, and others maimed but no life was lost,” Solomon said.
“We have been probing the fraudulent activities of these youths in KCMA but they want to cover their fraudulent activities by taking control of the community leadership by force. These youths are operating with the backing of some notable Itsekiri leaders and lawmaker and anybody who resists them, they come after violently.
“The elders they arrested were not supporting them. These elders backed the present executive and because the elders frowned at their illegal actions, and were obviously against them in their plot to forcefully take over the community leadership, they orchestrated their arrest.”
However, factional members of KCMA, David Onieyeburutan and Yinka Atie, where at large when newsmen made frantic efforts to contact them on the alleged attack and financial misappropriation charge leveled against them.
At the time of filing this report, the detained elders were granted bail, and efforts to reach the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) to comment on the issue were unsuccessful as he was said to be out of town in the heat of the crisis.
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