Residents of Effium community in the Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State have written to the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, identifying the sitting LGA Chairman, Clement Odah, and four others of being behind the alarming communal clashes and killings in the area, which has claimed scores of lives.
The Ezza people in Effium community raised the petition through their lawyer, Sampson Ekigbo, who revealed that the violence may continue if the police do not step in to arrest the perpetrators identified as; Nicodemus Omenka, Frank Onwe, Vincent Egbe (Ochinanwata) and Dr Benjamin Egbe.
Meanwhile, the Ebonyi State Police Command in a reaction on Wednesday said there was no sacred cow and the police had started investigating the LGA chairman and identified persons in the local government.
A copy of the Effium community’s petition, obtained by SaharaReporters, stated that over 500 persons had been killed since the crisis started in January 2021, and properties worth billions of naira had been looted and destroyed by criminals.
The community copied its petition also to the National Human Rights Commission, the Amnesty International, the Chief of Defence Staff, the Chief of Army Staff, the Director of the Department of State Service and the National Security Adviser.
The petition partly reads, “Effium communal crisis between Ufiom people and Ezza people started on January 22, 2021. The crisis has remained unabated due to the various salient reasons including estrangement, political, marginalisation, denial of other social-cultural rights and entitlements against Ezza people by the Ufiom people largely because their son, Clement Omekannaya Odah emerged the Executive Chairman of Ohaukwu council.
“Fo the avoidance of doubt, in the present unexpected crisis, we the Ezzas have remained under attack by various combined groups including Ufiom natives through their stakeholders led by Hon Clement Odah, Nicodemus Omenka, Frank Onwe, Vincent Egbe (Ochinanwata) and Dr Benjamin Egbe, among others;
“Two, we have been attacked by suspected machineries hired by Ufiom people from Jukun, Bayelsa, Benin and Igbo-esaa in Ebonyi state comprising Iyionu, Nkalagu, Umuhuali, Ezillo, Ntezi, Ntezi Okpoto, Ufiom and other orri-speaking people; and to a very extent, we have been compromised by security agents working in the community since the crisis started.
“We most sincerely request as follows; one, that the Federal government should have eye on Ebonyi state and their security agencies involved in resolving this crisis and ensure that they are dispassionate and not discriminatory, and take decisive actions to restore peace and normalcy in the troubled community.
“Two, we request full investigation of the activities of some of the security agents in the Effium crisis, especially Sunday Oboh and Chkwuma Elom of the Nigeria Police Force, Ebonyi command.
“Three, we request the arrest and full investigation of Ohaukwu Local Government chairman, Clement Odah and his kinsmen to wit: Nicodemus Omenka, Frank Onwe, Vincent Egbe (Ochinanwata) and Dr Benjamin Egbe, among others, and the illegal deployment of both local and hired men from other parts of the country with our common patrimony from Ohaukwu LG treasury to exterminate Effium indigenes of Ezza extractions.”
While speaking in an interview, the Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police, Aliyu Garba, said they were under police investigation.
“They are under investigation, nobody is above the law,” he noted.
Saharareporters, New York