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General News of Monday, 23 May 2022


Anambra lawmakers seek security beef up over colleague’s killing

Anambra State House of Assembly Anambra State House of Assembly

Members of the Anambra State House of Assembly have started seeking security beef up around them following the recent killing of their colleague, Mr Okechukwu Okoye, who represented Aguata 2 Constituency in the assembly.

It was further learnt that the leadership of the State Police Command will meet on Monday (today) and may take a decision on the request.

The PUNCH reports that Okoye was abducted last Sunday while returning from a function alongside his aide, Cyril Chiegboka, before his head was found without the body at Nnobi in Idemili South Local Government Area of the state late on Saturday.

Our correspondent gathered that the state lawmakers held an emergency closed-door meeting on Sunday on the matter. Although details of the meeting were not made public, the Speaker, Uche Okafor, in an interview with The PUNCH, described Okoye’s death as unfortunate and urged the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, to step up efforts towards achieving maximum security of lives and property in the state.

Although he did not divulge the details of the strategy lawmakers will adopt to ensure their safety, Okafor said efforts were being made to beef up security around them.

He said the lawmakers would meet again on the issue to take a decision.

“The late Okoye was one of the outspoken and articulated lawmakers that the legislative institution in the state has lost,” he added.

The spokesman of the State Police Command, Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed that police authorities have received request to beef up security around the lawmakers and public utilities, adding that “We are meeting tomorrow (Monday) on the issue.”

Meanwhile, the state Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Okelo Madukaife, described Okoye’s death as unfortunate and very humiliating to the legislature, government and people of the state.

He said, “Since no organisation has taken responsibility for this dastardly act, our party is not quick to ascribe it to any bandwagon thoughts that may mislead investigation.

“The security agencies must declare an emergency on security before it degenerates into a state of anarchy. It is getting out of hands and the state government seems to be confused.

‘We solicit cooperation amongst all security agencies in the security apparatus of the state, including Vigilante Services in epicentre locations of this heinous crime.

“We urge Ndi Anambra not to be quick to assume anything, but to respond with useful information as requested by the state government.”

Also, the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, condemned the killing. The President-General of the group, Goodluck Ibem, said urgent steps must be taken immediately to put a stop to the ugly incident in the South-East.

“The killing of the lawmaker is a direct attack on the Igbo race and all hands must be on the deck to ensure that perpetrators of this heinous crime are brought to book,” Ibe said.

The state’s Commissioner of Police, Echeng Echeng, had earlier described the murder of the lawmaker as barbaric and cowardice, adding that full investigation into the matter has commenced.

Echeng assured stakeholders that perpetrators of the act will be brought to book.

However, 24 hours after, no arrest has been made by the Police Command as regards the incident.

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