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General News of Friday, 29 April 2022


Ebonyi dissociates self from cleric’s ordeal

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Ebonyi state government has dissociated itself from the current travails of Reverend Father Timothy Ngwuta, who is currently incarcerated in Abakaliki prisons, stating that his case bothers on criminality.

Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi has been fingered as the brain behind Ngwuta’s incarceration. But in a reaction, the Commissioner of Information, Uchenna Orji said that on the contrary, Ngwuta was in prison for “the criminal charge based on his alleged complicity in aiding and abetting war and killings in Effium/Ezza Effium Community in Ohaukwu Local Government Area.”

Giving details of Ngwuta’s alleged criminal involvement, Orji pointed out that “the security report made available to us indicates that Rev. Fr Timothy Ngwuta was arrested by the surveillance youths and vigilance team of Nwori village in the warring community when he came in the company of two other suspects on 11th December 2021 to recover a vehicle suspected to have been used to convey some of the armed warriors suspected to have unleashed an attack on the security operatives who were in search of the bodies of the 5 NELAN Engineers allegedly killed by kingpins of the warriors.

“The security report further revealed that the said Rev. Father is a native of Inikiri Umuezokaoha Ezza Effium, a section of the warring community where the suspected attack occurred and it is also on record that he confirmed in his statements to the Police that he went to Nwori village to recover the car suspected to have been used by the armed warriors to carry out the attack that led to the death of two security operatives and others injured during security operations at Nwanenwo forest on the 28th day of November 2021”

Orji said that five NELAN engineers who were on a duty visit to the State Ring Road Project en route to Nwanenwo in the Ezza Effium axis fell prey to the attack of the armed tribal warriors on the 3rd day of November 2021 adding that “the State Government promptly directed security agencies to declare manhunt on perpetrators.”

While exonerating the governor of any complicity, Orji declared: “The governor has no hands whatsoever on the matter as it is purely a serious security concern handled by the community and the security operatives.”

The commissioner warned that “this situation does not call for sensational or sentimental publications or conversations, it calls for sober reflection on the lives that have been wasted and properties lost to these needless conspiracies against humanity in Effium/ Ezza Effium Community.”

He lauded the governor and describing him as a leader who “has unbridled love for the servants of God no matter their faith and he has a deep respect for and shared collaborations with the Catholic community.”

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