Army indicts four Enugu LG chairman over alleged gunrunning, political killings

Four local council chairmen in Enugu State have been indicted by a Nigerian military report for alleged gunrunning and political killings in Enugu State.

According to SaharaReporters, the Nigerian military authorities have therefore, requested that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi hands over the chairmen for further investigations and questioning so other issues.

According to the report the indicted Council chairmen are Udenu – Onah Solomon aka Jack Solo; Igbo-Eze South – Hon Vitus Okechi; Isi- Uzo, Obiora Chibuzor Obeagu and Igbo-Eze North – William Ejike Itodo.

Recall that the Enugu State Hose of Assembly had on April 4th urged president Muhammad Buhari to investigate military excesses, intimidation and harassment in Enugu State during March 18th governorship/ state assembly elections.

In a motion of urgent public importance presented at the plennary in Enugu on Tuesday by the member représenting Nsukka East constituency Mr Chinedu Nwamba said that the Constitutional role of the Military as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria, chapter 6. Part 3. Section 217 sub section 2a and 2b, which was to defend Nigeria from external aggression.

The Enugu speaker also urged the National Assembly to confirm if there is an Act from her to deploy fully armed military personnel to Enugu State on March 18th.

However, SaharaReporters reliably gathered the indicted council chairmen are being investigated over their roles in the spate of insecurity witnessed in the state in particular during and few months preceding the last general elections.

SaharaReporters had reported prior to the election that four Council chairmen who were close associates of Governor Ugwuanyi were arrested for their involvement of recruiting cultists for the just concluded elections.

The Presidential and National Assembly elections were held on February 25, while the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections took place on March 18, 2023.

However, the elections witnessed widespread violence carried out by non-state militias in furtherance of their political interests. Arrests were made by the personnel of the military following actionable intelligence findings from arrested suspects.

Military sources told SaharaReporters that the Chairmen of Udenu, Igbo-Eze South, Isi- Uzo and Igbo-Eze North were respectively indicted over the increased cases of kidnapping, killings and arson in the South Eastern states during the period.

A raid carried out before the governorship and state assembly elections led to the arrest of armed thugs at various locations in Isi Uzo, Nsukka and Igboeze North and Udenu Local government councils.

The arrests followed an alleged report dated February 8, 2023 and signed on behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) by one Brigadier-General S.A Emmanuel, revealed the discovery of the involvement of local government chairmen and other top politicians in the state in the heightened insecurity in the South East.

According to the source, “reports available to the Headquarters on activities of gunrunners/ criminal syndicates in the South East had led to increased spates of killings, kidnappings, arson which were recorded in the region.

“Of particular concern was the alleged involvement of security personnel, including one retired police officer from Anambra State, but who was simply identified as CSP Nwafor.

“The said Nwafor was the officer in charge of disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Anambra State from 2012 to 2018.”

Similarly, some AFN and NPF personnel were indicted for the complicit in the killings and destruction in the South East by the report. It noted that some of the officers were conniving with some unscrupulous politicians in Udenu, Igbo-Eze South, Isi- Uzo and Igbo-Eze North LGAs of Enugu State to undermine the security ambience of the state.

The report recommended that suspected security personnels involved be investigated for portraying both the AFN and NPF in bad light.

The Inspector General of Police, IGP, was requested to immediately invite the identified local government chairmen for questioning after which they would be handed over (to the military) for further interrogation, the sources further hinted.

Credit: SaharaReporters


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