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Arrest order on LG boss by Ebonyi Assembly sparks protests

By Nnamdi Akpa, Abakaliki
20 December 2019   |   3:34 am
The order to arrest the chairman of Ohaukwu Council in Ebonyi State, Clement Odah, by the House of Assembly over a spat with Chinedu Onah, representing Uhaukwu South Constituency in the house

The order to arrest the chairman of Ohaukwu Council in Ebonyi State, Clement Odah, by the House of Assembly over a spat with Chinedu Onah, representing Uhaukwu South Constituency in the house, has sparked off protests in the state.

Odah allegedly slapped Onah at the Assembly complex when the two leaders clashed during the screening of management committee nominees from Ohaukwu Council sent to the Assembly by the state government.

The situation reportedly led to the Assembly calling for the arrest and prosecution of the council boss, even as he denied slapping the lawmaker.

The arrest order caused confusion in Abakaliki, the state capital, yesterday when supporters of the two leaders took to the streets in solidarity of their respective leaders.

While Onah’s supporters were at the Assembly complex protesting against Odah and calling for his removal from office, Odah’s supporters besieged Government House declaring their unalloyed support for the council chairman and absolving him from any wrongdoing.

The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions to send home their messages during the protests that had heavy presence of security agents, especially at the Government House.

Leader of the Assembly, Victor Chukwu, had moved a motion calling for immediate arrest and prosecution of the council chairman over the incident. The motion was unanimously adopted.

But the supporters of Odah led by Agena Ogbu said they took to streets to counter the insinuations that the council chairman beat up the lawmaker.

Ogbu said, “We heard people saying that our council chairman beat up somebody at the Ebonyi State House of Assembly. He didn’t do that. He is doing very well in his duties and he doesn’t need any distraction. That is why we came to counter that. Our council chairman is a peaceful gentleman and he cannot do that.”

Deputy Chief of Staff, Government House, Chief Okechukwu Nwakpu; and Deputy Principal Secretary to Governor Dave Umahi, Emmanuel Obasi, who addressed the two protesting groups at the Government House, warned them against violence.