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Ebube Agu ban: Ebonyi govt’s rejection of court judgment an invitation to anarchy – Onyike

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Umahi sponsoring violence in Ebonyi state - Onyike

Chief Abia Onyike, a former Commissioner for Information in Ebonyi State, has warned the state government that its decision to reject the judgement of a Federal High Court sitting in Abakailiki, the state capital, on Ebube Agu, was an invitation to anarchy.

Recall that the High Court had on Tuesday, disbanded the Ebube Agu in the state.

The court also ordered the government to as a matter of urgency, pay the some of N50m to Onyike, who dragged it to court in November after Ebube Agu operatives abducted and tortured for over two hours.

However, the state government reportedly refused to obey the court order, insisting that the security outfit would continue to operate.

Speaking against the move in a statement on Friday, Onyike noted the Governor David Umahi administration has never hidden its disdain for the judiciary.

“Since Tuesday, the 14th February, 2023 when the Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki disbanded the EbubeAgu Militia Organization, agents of Ebonyi state Government have been terribly agitated. They have not hidden their disdain for the Judiciary and the rule of law,” Onyike said.

“In their Press Conference of Wednesday, 15th February, 2023, the Government, led by Gov David Umahi indicated their preparedness to disobey the orders of the Court. They described the judgement as “biased, miscarriage of justice and judicial rascality. Then, they went ahead to assert that “EbubeAgu operations will continue to exist and nothing will stop their operations in the state”.

“As the one who took the State Government and EbubeAgu to court (Plaintiff), I wish to draw the attention of the State Government and the general public to the fact that the orders by the Federal High Court which disbanded EbubeAgu was a declaratory order. Secondly, the issues involved are weighty human rights issues with proven and documented cases of human rights abuses, dehumanization of citizens, torture, and in some cases extra judicial killings in some parts of the state.”

Onyike who recalled several attacks he has suffered in the hands of the state, noted that the order of the federal court was clear and unambiguous, while asking the government to obey the law.

“We may recall that on 10th March, 2022, shortly after I appeared on Arise TV to render comments relating to the governance of the state, Gov David Umahi and his cohorts were infuriated. What followed was the invasion of my residence in Abakaliki by EbubeAgu operatives,” he narrated.

“They rained a volley of bullets on my house and shot sporadically for more than 30 minutes continuously. My windows and glasses were shattered. When I reported the matter to the appropriate authorities and accused EbubeAgu of being the masterminds of the gun attack on my residence, their Headman accused me of feigning the attack. He said that nobody attacked me, that I was the one who master-minded it.

“They continued their evil plot. On the 9th of November, 2022, I was abducted and taken to the old Government House, where I was held hostage and subjected to merciless torturing. It was on this basis that I took the matter to court.

” The orders of the Federal High Court are clear and unambiguous. The orders carried the message of immediacy and were intended to restore normalcy to a horrible and terrible situation occasioned by the excesses of the EbubeAgu squad, now declared illegal and unlawful.

“For the Umahi government to arrogantly inform the Ebonyi citizens that they are not willing to accept the Court ruling which the people were already celebrating, shows that Umahi has lost touch with reality. It could be true as suggested in some quarters that Gov Umahi has transformed himself into a warlord who may have vowed never to compromise on his continuous dehumanization of Ebonyi people.

“One would have expected the state government, if it were a popular Government, to apologise to the citizens and then retrace its steps away from citizens oppression.

“Instead of giving peace a chance, the Umahi Government has opted for continuing acts of impunity by organizing fake demonstrations in Court premises in the state capital. This disgraceful and shameful act is an affront and a calculated act of intimidation of the Judicial Arm of Government.

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“The use of government-sponsored youths to march round the Courts is the height of political rascality and impunity by the the Umahi Government. This is infantilism and fascism at work. Afterall, every one knows that EbubeAgu was created as Gov Umahi’s personal instrument for keeping his critics at bay and for silencing his political opponents. Moreover, it was Umahi’s tactical maneuver to deploy force and intimidation for bulldozing his way against opposition forces in the state, so as to create room for him to manipulate the 2023 elections to his advantage.”

Onyike alleged that the Ebonyi governor is also planning to set up another security outfit following the court order.

“Gov Umahi’s latest strategy now is to create a new Vigilante outfit with similar features as EbubeAgu to continue terrorizing Ebonyians but that wicked and selfish plan cannot work as the moribund State House of Assembly which Umahi grounded must not be recalled to service such an evil plot,” he said.

“I hereby condemn all acts of political hooliganism aimed at subverting the popular Judgement of the Federal High Court which has liberated Ebonyians from the bondage of internal terrorism, created and foisted by Gov Umahi’s anti-people Government. Ebonyians have distanced themselves from Umahi’s unfortunate reputation as a discredited local tyrant.

“I humbly wish to appeal to the security agencies, the police and the State Security Services to immediately embark upon the implementation of the disbanding of the unlawful and illegal terror outfit. Any attempt to undermine the judgement of the Federal High Court banning the EbubeAgu Militia in Ebonyi state may snowball into anarchy and crises in the state.

“The time has come to dismantle Gov Umahi’s tyrannical strutures and to expunge his use of cruelty, raw aggression and elephantine furry in the running of Government in the state.

“The orders of the Federal High Court in EbubeAgu was automatic and already in force. Let the state Government go on appeal if they wish, but until a superior Court rules otherwise, EbubeAgu remains disbanded in the state.

“Gov Umahi’s desperate effort to create another squad to replace EbubeAgu should be resisted by the people through all legal and legitimate instruments at their disposal.”

 

 

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