The Edo State Police Command has described as a false news report “credited to one Mr. Okpame Ozekhome on behalf of alleged sons and daughters of Iviukwe Community in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State”, claiming intimidation, arrest and detention of community members by the Police, in order to suppress them from asking questions about the purported sale of the community’s ancestral land.
The command said the man falsely alleged that the arrest was masterminded by Chief Mike Ozekhome and the Okumagbe of Uwano Kingdom, Dr George Oshiapi Egabor.
Debunking the report as unfounded, the command gave the true picture of it saiying it was being misrepresented in the press.
He explained that, “Contrary to the misleading and absolutely untrue statement which was reported in the SUN newspaper of 26/05/2022, and other print, electronic and online media, including NTA, Benin, Trust, Vanguard and Guardian Newspapers, amongst others, the Edo State Police Command had received a petition through its Agenebode Area Command against one Adolphus Oshole Ozekhome ( aka Osimi) and his gang members of the conspiracy, who were engaged in promoting communal crisis, war, malicious damage to people’s properties and conduct likely to a cause breach of the peace. They also attacked Police personnel who were deployed to halt further wanton destruction to people’s properties and houses, while still resisting arrest.
“On receipt of the petition, the Police operatives led by the Area Commander, Agenebode Area Command, immediately mobilised to the scene for an on-the-spot assessment with the aim of stopping further breakdown of law and order by the rampaging mob. But on arrival in the community, the team of Operatives were ambushed by the principal suspect,Adolphus Ozekhome ( Osimi) and his gang members. They were subsequently subdued and the gang leader arrested on the spot while others fled and escaped.
In a statement, the police further explained that Preliminary investigations led to the arrest of the following persons in respect of the offenses. They are Solomon Ozekhome ‘M’ (32), Omeke Ozoemmena ‘M’ (29), Vincent Ozekhome ‘M’ (31), Promise Ozekhome ‘M’ (23) and Asaman Apegbua ‘M’ ( 22). Investigation is still ongoing and all the arrested suspects are cooperating with the Police in its investigation.
“It is important to note that the Edo State Police Command is not investigating any alleged sale of land as falsely claimed and widely reported.
The Nigeria Police remains a professional institution that operates in line with global best practices through due application of the rule of law and code of conduct. Efforts by anyone or group of persons no matter how highly placed or armed to prevent it from performing its constitutional duty of protecting lives and property will not be tolerated.
“In view of the foregoing, the Commissioner of Police Edo State Command, CP Abutu Yaro,, hereby states unequivocally that the said publication is totally false and absolutely misleading as it is a figment of the imagination of the writer who granted the press conference. The police views the write-up as having been orchestrated by some mischief makers to cause unnecessary bad blood, panic and hide their nefarious activities. They are advised to toe part of peace and desist from instigating further communal crisis.
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