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Ebonyi community protests against killing of ex-speaker

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The people of Nwofe Agbaja, in Izzi Local Council of Ebonyi State, yesterday protested against the killing of a former Speaker of the state House of Assembly and former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Elias Nwankwegu.

They alleged that the incumbent Speaker of the House, Francis Nwifuru and Special Assistant to the Governor on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Martin Okwuegbu, were behind the killing.

Nwifuru, however, denied complicity in the killing, as the state police have arrested one Emmanuel Nwofe in connection with the murder.

Nwankwegu was shot dead at the weekend by suspected thugs during a political rally organised by Nwifuru who hails from the same area with the deceased.

The people of the community carried placards with inscriptions such as: Chairman Izzi Council bring Back Our Son; Speaker, Bring Back Our Son; SA IGR, Bring Back Our Son; Ebonyi State PDP, Please Bring Back Our Son; and Federal Government Come To Our Rescue, among others.

Older brother of the deceased, Samson Nwankwegu told The Guardian that he was in an event when they called him that the incident happened, adding: “We learnt that my brother was called to attend a rally that he is going to be given motorcycle.

“On getting there, three boys accosted him and one of them called Emma pulled a gun and shot him. We were not there to rescue the boy and I learnt that he died immediately before he was taken to the hospital.

“Emma Nwofe is one of the Speaker’s boys. This incident happened about 2pm close to the rally ground.”

Reacting to the allegations of complicity in the incident, Nwifuru said the killers were some boys loyal to a faction of the PDP in the area.

He and Nwankwegu have been having a running battle in the constituency since Nwifuru defeated Nwankwegu in the party’s primaries in 2010.

Spokesman to the Speaker, Tony Nwizi exonerated his principal from the death of Okarika.

When contacted, Okwuegbu, who was also accused of having a hand in the killing, asked the reporter to call him back in two hours but called back about 30 minutes later to cancel the appointment, saying he was traveling out of the state.


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