Ebonyi State Police Command has confirmed the arrest of the Labour Party senatorial candidate for Ebonyi South in the 2023 elections, Hon. Linus Abba Okorie, by operatives of the Command over drug related matters and other offences.
In a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Chris Anyanwu, on Monday, he said sequel to initial rumours and press release by one Dr David Ogbonna of Hon Linus Okorie Caringheart Foundation, purporting that Hon. Okorie was abducted on Sunday, that men of the Command swung into action and later traced the said Hon. Okorie to the head office of the EbubeAgu Security Outfit at Old Government House in Abakaliki.
Anyanwu added that Okorie, a former member of the House of Representatives, had before now evaded many police invitations and arrests. The PPRO said that men of the Command were briefed on why he was arrested by EbubeAgu, which includes his activities and utterances that incited and provoked the violence that engulfed Onicha Local Government Area of the State.
He said that according to the brief by operatives of EbubeAgu, his utterances allegedly led to suspected IPOB/ESN operatives or unknown gunmen to unleash mayhem in the area, leaving seven persons dead at the end of the fracas.
SP Anyanwu further stated that the case has now been taken over by the State Police Command for preliminary investigation, stressing that Okorie was severally invited by the Security and Intelligence Bureau of the Command over a petition dated 23/3/2022, authored by the State’s Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice.
He said that the petition alleged that Okorie was spreading fake news against Governor David Umahi , accusing the Governor of illegally withdrawing N6.7billion from State Government’s Account to fund the Appeal Court Judgment against his removal from office, among others.
The PPRO also stated: “Similar to the above is another series of false allegations against the Government of Ebonyi State and the Police Command in his social media handles.
“When invited by the SIB over the false allegations/petition, Honourable Linus Abaa Okorie in his characteristic pompous manner refused vehemently to report to the SIB for a chat. Rather he chose to file fallacious suits against the Police Command.
“It is also pertinent to mention that Honourable Linus Abaa Okorie also have(sic) a pending case in which he is implicated in a drug-related offence where the suspects purported to be his agents were arrested for Hard drug sales and use at his City Hub Inn, Mile 50, Abakaliki.”
He said that the case was later transfered to the NDLEA for further necessary actions.
“CP Aliyu Garba therefore makes it categorically clear that Hon Okorie was neither abducted nor kidnapped and warns that people should desist from painting pictures of insecurity in the State by propagating unfounded rumours,” he added.
He maintained that Ebubeagu is a lawfully established local security outfit by the House of Assembly and Government of Ebonyi State, adding that if the outfit as empowered by the State law, arrests anybody, it shouldn’t be interpreted as abduction or kidnapping.
“This is because those terms mean different things. However, it is expected that the outfit after effecting such arrest, should hand over the matter to the Police for further investigation and other necessary actions which has played out in this instance,” he stated.
The Police warned Dr David Ogbonna of Hon Linus Okorie CaringHeart Foundation to henceforth know the implication of wrong choice of words when next dishing out information for public consumption, adding that otherwise he will face the dire consequences as enshrined in the laws of the land.
“The CP further reassures the good people of Ebonyi State that there is no cause for alarm and advises that everyone should go about their lawful businesses without any fear of molestation,” he added.