•Allow police conclude investigation –Govt
ALEXANDER OKERE and CHIDIEBUBE OKEOMA
A former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, on Saturday, described the arrest and detention of two of his political associates over the attacks on the police headquarters and correctional centres in Owerri as part of efforts by the state government to link him to the rising insecurity in the state.
Okorocha, in a statement by his spokesperson, Sam Onwuemeodo, accused the state police command of playing the script of the state government, adding that his detained associates were not involved in the April 5 attacks.
He, therefore, asked the acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, to take over the case file of the two men detained at the facilities of the state command headquarters in Owerri.
But reacting, the state government advised the former governor to allow the security agency to conclude its investigation rather than politicising the matter.
Okorocha, in the statement said, “The police in Owerri lied and deliberately too. The police obviously lied about Ojukwu Ukonu and Ugbor Casmir, including the date of their arrest. The police arrested Ojukwu Ukonu and Ugbor Casmir and their wives three weeks ago and they have remained in detention with nobody allowed to see them.
“We knew and still know that their arrest was part of the relentless effort to add non-existent flesh to the mentioning of Senator Rochas Okorocha by the state government 24 hours after the police headquarters and correctional centre, Owerri, attacks happened.
“With all these lies, we could only situate the arrest, detention and subsequent parading of Ojukwu Ukonu and Ugbor Casmir in the desperate effort to justify the state government’s hasty mentioning of Okorocha when the Owerri attacks took place, without waiting for the investigation into the ugly incident by relevant security agencies to even commence.
“The problem is that, the leadership of the police in lmo has not defined its modus operandi – whether to always succumb to the whims and caprices of the state government or to work for lmo people, while giving the government its due regard.
“We therefore call on the Inspector General of Police to take over the case files of Ojukwu Ukonu and Ugbor Casmir to know whose report or claim or account to believe – whether to believe the account or claim of the police in lmo, that the two men were arrested on Thursday, May 27, 2021, or our own claim that they have been in detention for three weeks now.”
But the state government, through the Commissioner for Information, Mr Declan Emelumba, said, “If he (Okorocha) said the police arrested two of his associates, there must be a reason for that. So, as a law-abiding citizen, what is expected of him is to expedite action on their investigation and if his associates are indicted, then they stand indicted; if they are not indicted, they will be released. As they say, a clear conscience fears no accusation; so, if his hands are clean, I don’t think he has anything to worry about.”
The Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, said the police in the state were sticking to professionalism and absolute respect for human lives.