▪︎Umahi orders setting up of Investigative Committee
▪︎Torture suspects moved to Police headquarters
Comic drama has been added to the controversy surrounding the torture of Ebonyi Pastor Okochi Obeni as the arrow head and Techical Adviser to Governor Umahi, Amadi Nyerere has allegedly faked his own kidnap
In the video Nyerere who had been arrested by the Afikpo North Divisional Police earlier and granted bail to fetch his accomplices according to the Police, was seen in the video with his hands and legs tied.
Someone wearing a face mask was seen sealing his mouth with a tape while he offered no resistance.
signaturetv.org learnt that after the kidnap video was posted on the social media, members of the Amasiri community started meeting to find a way to secure the release of Amadi Nyerere.
However while the meetings continued Friday morning, the so called kidnap victim surrendered himself to the Afikpo North Police Division
How Mr Nyerere “escaped” from the kidnappers with his hands and legs tied is still a mystery though some people who spoke to signaturetv.org on condition of anonymity say it was stage managed to divert attention.
Meanwhile Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state has ordered the setting up of a 5-man committee to investigate the torture of Okochi Obeni
Umahi directed the state Deputy Governor to set-up a 5-man committee to investigate the remote and immediate causes of Obeni’s torture.
Umahi spoke at the new Government House, Abakalkki while signing five new bills passed into law by the State House of Assembly.
“I have directed that a 5 man committee be set up to investigate the human right abuses in Afikpo North. This is very important because even if there are traditional methods of settling issues, while you are doing it and if it is working for you, why are you videoing it and uploading it in the social media.
“We also want to know whether it happened because some people can also frame it to destroy the system. So a committee is going to work on it to find out what actually happened.
The committee has a two week deadline to submit its report.
Meanwhile, the Isi-Oru Age Grade, the security outfit of Amasiri community in Afikpo North local government area of Ebonyi State, which carried out the torture has said self- seeking political elements in the Local Government were creating division and tension in the community using the punishment meted out against Pastor Okochi Obeni.
The Age Grade justified their action against the cleric and said that the matter was twisted and true reflection of what happened manipulated by some self-seeking politicians in the area.
In a statement signed by Vice Chairman of the Isi-Oru age grade, Chief Eze Ogbonnia Eze and Secretary Unya Unya Enya, the group said Obeni was posting fake information on social media which was creating division and which they said was unhealthy to the image of the community.
“The Isi-Oru ruling council has the primary mandate of maintaining peace and orderliness in Amasiri in line with the traditional practices obtainable in our community.
“Isi-Oru ruling council since inception operates under an atmosphere devoid of any external interference. No one dictates to the body no matter how highly placed he is.
“The punishment meted on Okochi Obeni Chukwu is not strange in Amasiri traditional setting as so many people before him has been disciplined in the same way.
Speaking to signaturetv.org in Abakaliki a relation of the torture victim said there was no justification for what the Isi Oru Age Grade did to his brother.
All the processes for treating such a matter was a abused, their was no fair hearing and it was politically motivated.
He said their greatest worry now is the effort of the culprits to incite the community against the Obeni family.
“They told villagers that we are fighting the community, inviting the Police to arrest people and that we were responsible for the kidnap of Amadi Nyerere”.
In a chat with signaturetv.org in Abakaliki where he is still receiving medical treatment, Obeni accused some leaders in the community of threatening his parents in the village. He said “the Isi Oru should be held responsible for escalating the matter by posting the video of my humiliation on Facebook and inviting some members of the media to feed them with lies about what transpired. All I have done is to debunk their lies and state the facts. I did not report anyone to the Police, they reported themselves”.
On Friday evening the Police moved Amadi Nyerere and six of his alleged accomplices from Afikpo to the State Police Headquarters in Abakaliki. Some of those moved to Abakaliki include Eni Chibuike, Chikezie Akuma, Agwu Slacey, Ogbonnaya Eze and Otu Ogwudu.
According to sources at the Command headquarters, the move was to ensure diligent investigation of the matter.
“Nigerians are interested in this matter and as a Command we cannot be found wanting. They are here with us”.