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Ebonyi indigenes demand probe into escape of 55 suspects from police custody

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The Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in the Diaspora (AESID) has demanded an immediate probe into circumstances that led to the mysterious escape of 55 suspects arrested in connection with killings in Effium communities.

President of the association, Paschal Oluchukwu, maintained those found wanting in the escape of the suspects must be made to face the full wrath of the law.

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The claim of the escape of the suspects came hours after they were handed over to the state’s Commissioner of Police (CP), Aliyu Garba, for their onward movement to the Police Command Headquarters in Abakaliki.

While describing the development as “a soap opera,” the association said it was outraged by news reports that 55 out of 66 hired militias, who were successfully arrested on Saturday afternoon at Okpoduma Village in Effium by the Nigerian military led by the GOC, Commanding 82 Division, Maj.-Gen. Taoreen Lagbaja, escaped from the custody of the Nigeria Police Force.

It demanded immediate dismissal of officers involved in the dastardly act.

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The group said: “That CP Garba and his men, including the sister security agencies like some NSCDC officials involved in the said the controversial escape of the arrested suspects be made to face the full wrath of the law. They should all be diligently and uncompromisingly investigated and brought to book for their roles in the saga.

“Should they be found wanting in any way or form unbecoming of officers of the law, they should be summarily dismissed from service to serve as a deterrent to others who would wish to compromise or joke with the very serious issue of security, which has become a nightmare in present-day Nigeria.

“That the police be made to re-arrest and produce the said 55 escapees for trial as we believe that the information which they would provide and the evidence they would deduce would help in bringing these limitless killings to an end (immediate and remote).

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“It is our firm discovered that the freeing of 55 out of the 66 hired militias by the said Garba and his men is undoubtedly in furtherance of the hidden agenda of the command whose officers and men have been sternly accused by this platform and many others of undue compromise and other discriminatory cum unprofessional conducts since the violent killings broke out in Effium this year.

“AESID is saddened that the various security outfits in the state in secret collaboration with the government appointees whose duty it is to ordinarily protect lives and property of citizens are poignantly being accused of doing the opposite of what the law and constitution require of them.

“As we all await actions in fulfilling these words, this platform only hopes that the Umahi government, which fiddles while Effium boils, would act to help in bringing these horrible killings to an end, restore permanent peace, and not sabotage efforts. May God heal and cleanse the land of Effium, and indeed, every crisis-ladden part of Ebonyi State!”

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