Few days to Saturday’s election, the Ebonyi State Police Command has declared the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Prof Bernard Odoh, wanted in connection with the murder of the traditional ruler of Omege Umuezokoha in Ezza North local government area, Ezeogo Igboke Ewa.
Others wanted by the police over the incident are Samuel Onyekachi Aligwe, Peter Orogwu (aka one boy), Chukwudi Aliewa (aka Ezza), Chika Ezealigbo, Nnaemeka Egede (aka Champaign), Nnabuike Okohu, Ogobuchi Agbom (aka Okiri), Nonso Obasi and Ikechukwu Nwoba (aka Solid).
The declaration was contained in a statement signed by the police public relations officer, SP Onome Onovwakpoye.
He said, “The Ebonyi State Police Command has declared the under-listed persons wanted in connection with the murder of his Royal Highness Eze Christopher Igboke Ewa of Umu-Ezekoha Community in Ezza North.”
The police urged the good people of Ebonyi State and the general public to assist them in apprehending the suspects if seen or call the command’s emergency number 07064515001 or the nearest police station with any useful information that will lead to their arrest.
In a swift reaction, Odoh said it was strange and subjudice for the police to declare him wanted. He insisted that the allegations linking him to the murder of Ewa were false.
Odoh described the allegation as “malicious, baseless, spurious and should be totally discountenanced by the general public. I find this strange because the Nigerian law presumes an accused person innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.”
He said the nine other persons listed in the police publication are APGA supporters/members from Umuezeokaoha community, adding that the party has supporters in all villages and polling units across the 13 LGAs of the state.
Odoh maintained that he does not have other inter-personnel relationships or dealings with the other persons declared wanted except being an “urbane and accomplished figure which some of them look up to as their role model and mentor.”
“I have already obtained an order from the High Court, Owerri in No: HOW/194/2023 dated 3rd March, 2023 restraining the police and other security agencies from harassing or arresting me until the matter brought before the court is determined by the court.
“That the IGP and other security agencies have been served with the court order accordingly. That 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 allegations brought against me through legal and peaceful means,” he said.
He asserted that the allegations were politically-motivated and intended to undermine his chances of winning this Saturday’s governorship election in the state which he said he is a leading frontrunner.