Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 23 August 2017 | 1,668 times
The leadership crisis that has rocked the community of Okpoko in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State for some years now on Tuesday took an ugly turn, leaving a local vigilance operative, Emma Nwankwo dead, while two vehicles and property worth about N8 million were damaged.
The crisis, which is said to be between the elected executive in the community led by Hon Godwin Emesinwa and the caretaker committee headed by Hon Linus Ezenwamma, escalated when the elected executive was removed by the state government without completing their tenure and replaced by a caretaker committee that has continued to be in office for about nine years without electing substantive executive.
Following the non-conduct of election, the elected executive went to an Onitsha High court and filed a suit pleading that it be allowed to complete its tenure.
The court judgment subsequently went in their favour.
Secretary General of the community, Chief Raphael Agu said that few days after the execution of the court order and taking over of the secretariat by the elected officers, the caretaker committee with the support of an un-named member in the state House of Assembly, including an aide to the state Governor who is monthly given came and sacked them despite the court order.
He said: “As a result of this the President General, Hon Emesinwa, went to Abuja and reported the sacking of the elected executive to the Police since the court was in recess.”
He said that based on their report, the Police from Abuja came to effect the arrest of the caretaker committee members but failed because they ran away when they got wind of the arrival of the Abuja police.
“We heard it was the Okpoko Divisional Police Officer, Mr. Elaigwu Gabriel Oyilo that told them to runaway because they also oil his palm.”
“When the Abuja police left, the caretaker committee mobilised and in the wee hours of the fateful day stormed the homes of each of the vigilance operatives of the elected executive, beating them to pulp and in that process beat Emma Okonkwo to death.”
When contacted, the DPO, Mr. Elaigwu Gabriel Oyilo confirmed the incident saying that “the suspects have gone into hiding,” Agu said.
He said that no arrest has been made so far but that they are closing in on them regretting that all calls to the warring factions earlier to resolve their issues peacefully fell on deaf ears.
Meanwhile the secretariat has since the incident been abandoned by both warring factions.
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