APGA governorship candidate breaks silence after being declared wanted

bfe prof. ben odoh
bfe prof. ben odoh

Prof. Bernard Odoh, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Ebonyi on Monday urged the public to discountenance police publication describing him as a “wanted’’ person.

He was reacting to a press statement issued by the police in Abakaliki on Monday that he, alongside nine other persons was wanted in connection with the murder of Ezeogo Igboke Ewa.

Gunmen, suspected to be political thugs killed Ewa, the traditional ruler of the Umuezekoha community in Ezza North Local Government Area of Ebonyi in his home on Feb. 26.

In a statement issued on Monday, Prof. Odoh noted that the allegations against him in the police statement were all false in every material fact; malicious, baseless, spurious, and should be discountenanced.

Odoh explained that an Owerri High Court already gave an order restraining the police or their agents from arresting or harassing him.

He stated that persons listed as wanted in the police publication were APGA supporters and members from the Umuezeokaoha community in Ebonyi.

“Nigerian law still presumes an accused person innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.

“I have already obtained an order: HOW/194/2023 from a High Court in Owerri dated March 3, restraining the police and other security agencies from harassing or arresting me until the matter before the court is determined.

“The Inspector-General of Police (IG-P) and other security agencies have been served with the court order accordingly.

“The IG-P upon being served the said order stopped all actions in the matter concerning the court, but the Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi has continued to take action contrary to the orders of the court.

“Further, the family of the late Ezeogo filed a suit No. HBA/47MC/2023 alleging that the commissioner of police in Ebonyi has been compromised by failing to arrest me.

“Ebonyi High Court has not determined the matter, yet the commissioner of police in Ebonyi continued to take steps over the sub-judice matter.

“I am not on the run and cannot be said to be on the run for any reason whatsoever, but pursuing and seeking the resolution of the false and misleading allegation brought against me through legal and peaceful means.

“The allegations are politically motivated and intended to undermine my chances of winning the March 11 governorship election in Ebonyi.

“I sympathize with the family of the traditional ruler over this very painful, unfortunate and tragic loss.

“I reiterate my earlier position in the media that I know nothing and absolutely nothing about the assassination of my traditional ruler,’’ Odoh stated.

He urged his supporters to remain calm, focused, and resolute in their support for him to win the gubernatorial election.

The slain royal father was the chairman of the Ezza Traditional Rulers Council in Ebonyi.