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Imo oil producing communities, demand IG’s intervention over detained lawmaker

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By Chidex Onyemah

The Patrons Association of Imo Oil Producing Communities, PIOPC, has urged the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Abubakar Adamu to swiftly intervene in the arrest and detention of the lawmaker representing Ohaji/Egbema state constituency, Mr. Heclus Okoro to avert planned breakdown of law and order in the state, also issuing a 48 hours ultimatum for the lawmaker to be released.

In a statement by it’s chairman, Chief David Mbachu, released on Monday, November 16,2020, the Patrons association said that oil producing communities in the state will use all legal means within their powers if Okoro, whom was alleged to be victimised following the crisis in Imo assembly and the impeachment of the Speaker, was not immediately released.

Orient Daily, reports that, the Imo State House of Assembly last Friday, impeached its Speaker, Dr. Chiji Collins (APC-Isiala Mbano Constituency) with Mr. Paul Emeziem (APC – Onuimo constituency) emerging as new speaker.

In a statement released on Saturday, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Imo on New and Electronic Media, Mrs. Nneamaka Okafor, confirmed the arrest, saying the incarcerated lawmaker was arrested by the Police for fighting within the Government House premises and is in police custody but not detained by the governor.

She alleged that Okoro came to the Government House to fight when his colleagues came to present the new Speaker to Gov. Hope Uzodinma.
However, the PIOPC chairman said the allegation against the incarcerated lawmaker was false.

The statement reads: “How is it possible for a lawmaker to go to the governor’s office with intention to fight? If he actually fought with the deputy speaker, why was he the only one arrested. Did he fight himself?

“Okoro was not even in the assembly complex or venue of the impeachment when the impeachment took place but had to go to the government house to meet the governor on invitation by one of the aides.

“On reaching there, he met the new Speaker and the Deputy speaker, Chyna Iwuanyanwu, who descended on him, leading to a fight in his bid to defend himself.

“Okoro was arrested and detained in Government House, allegedly, on the orders of Governor Hope Uzodinma while his attackers were not arrested.

“As elders and patrons, we have tried to sue for peace and follow due processes to ensure intervention by the IGP on what is an injustice to Okoro just because he supports the impeached speaker.

“Why was Iwuanyanwu not arrested in an alleged fight at the government house and only one person was picked, handcuffed and humiliated like a criminal.

“If he fought and was arrested, why was he denied bail but incarcerated as a criminal.

“We cannot sit and watch our son being unjustly treated and humiliated hence the call for intervention.

“Our decision to follow Law and order is to avert crisis in the state but if nothing is done to free our son in the next 48 hours, we may have to take the issue legally in our hands.”

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