26 suspects have been arrested over the recent killings and arsons recorded in Ekoli Edda Community, in Afikpo South Local Government Area (LGA) of Ebonyi State.
NEWSBREAK reports that among those arrested were the state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Stanley Okoro-Emegha, and a former chairman of the Afikpo South LGA and Federal House of Representatives candidate for Afikpo North/South Constituency in the 2023 general election, Eni Chima.
According to the police, the suspects were responsible for the killings and arson that pervaded the area on December 26, 2022. Recall that in the incident, two persons including a Police Inspector, were killed, while two houses were torched down.
The Ebonyi State Police Command, during a press conference, disclosed news of the arrest in Abakaliki on Monday.
The command, which spoke through its spokesman, Chris Anyanwu, accused the suspects of being behind the dastardly acts.
Aside from murder, the command also accused the suspects of arson, conspiracy, armed robbery and illegal possession of firearms.
“The key actors among the suspects arrested, volunteered useful ‘confessional statements’ that exposed the aggregate of overwhelming findings hereunder outlined:
“The fracas that engulfed Ekoli-Edda on 26/12/2022 ignited at about 1600 hours during a face-off between the security aides of Hon Stanley Okoro Emegha versus a faction of Ekoli-Edda youth believed to be loyalists of Hon Eni Uduma Chima.
“The protracted political rivalry/supremacy struggle between the duo, is the cause of the showdown that took place. Interestingly, the two political stalwarts hail from same community, belong to same political party and even live in close proximity.
“The visit of the APC chairman to his village on the fateful day, with his aides, infuriated the fragment of the youths in the area who are purportedly adherents of Eni Uduma Chima, hence the showdown that ensued.
“The war songs chanted by Egwu Famous Chinedu, the town crier, amidst hitting/blowing of his gong/trumpet, respectively, galvanised the youth into further action, hence, the rampage and escalation of the brouhaha,” Anyanwu said.