A former commissioner for Information, in Ebonyi State, Chief Abịa Onyike, was on Wednesday night reportedly abducted and tortured by the Ebubeagu security operatives in the state.
NewsBits recalls that the Ebubeagu is a security outfit existing in only Ebonyi State and Imo State – two states controlled by the All Progressives Congress (APC). This is a contradiction to the original plan to have the security outfit in all the five States that make up southeast zone.
Chief Onyike, a veteran journalist, who is one of the spokespersons for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Ebonyi State, Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii, was said to have been taken to Ebubeagu’s head office, Old Government House, Abakaliki, where he was allegedly brutalised.
But commenting on the incident, the Ebubeagu Ebonyi State Commander, Friday Nnana, said Mr Onyike’s arrest was a case of mistaken identity. He said Mr Abia was arrested at a location where a suspect was being trailed. The commander explained that, immediately Onyike’s name, place of origin and personality was ascertained, he was released.
Nnana said: “The place they said (Onyike) Abia was caught was where a criminal element we have been looking for usually stays.”
“We have satellite everywhere. That’s where the suspect usually comes to collect arms and ammunition and rifles kept for him. He normally comes from outside the state.
“You can ask the victim what we did immediately he was asked to provide his name, where he came from. We ordered them to leave him immediately. People have been putting surveillance where he was arrested.”
NewsBits learnt that the Ebuebagu security outfits operating in Ebonyi and Imo States have turned a thorn on the flesh of the citizens of the two states, becoming notorious for indiscriminate arrest, torture, and even extra judicial killings. The development has made some people, especially the opposition parties and rights groups to call for it to be abolished.
Recall that only last month, the security outfit allegedly abducted a senatorial candidate of the Labour Party for Ebonyi South District, Linus Okorie.
After his family and associates raised an alarm, he was reportedly taken to the police, who later explained that he was on their wanted list. Later, the police arraigned him in court, and thereafter he was remanded in prison.