From GEORGE ONYEJIUWA, Owerri
Chairman of Owerri North Local Government Area, Dr. Eric Ogwo, and the Secretary of Owerri Municipal Council, Felix Nnodi, were yesterday allegedly manhandled and abducted when over 50 security members of the Imo State Security Network invaded the council premises.
The members of the state security outfit, who forcefully ejected the officials from the council premises, were allegedly under the command of the Special Adviser on Security to Governor Rochas Okorocha and accompanied by the Commissioners of commerce and Sports and Youth.
The invasion of the council secretariats may not be unconnected with the lingering tenure crisis between the state government and the council chairmen.
It was gathered that the chairman of Owerri North and the Secretary of Owerri Municipal were whisked away to the Government House before they were taken to Shell Camp where they were later dumped.
The Secretary of the Imo State chapter of the All Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) and Chairman of Ngor-Opkala Council Area, Enyinna Onuegbu, who confirmed the incident, told Daily Sun that the hoodlums numbering over 50 invaded Owerri North and abducted Ogwo and the secretary of Owerri Municipal and took them to the Government House where they were manhandled.
According to him: “The police did not carry out the arrest rather it was Mr uche Mbanso the Commissioner for Commerce , the Commissioner for Youths and Sports , Mr. Emelu Kenneth and the Special Adviser on Security to Governor Okorocha , in Owerri Zone who led the gang, adding, that the state government directed them to all of us because our tenure had elapsed. After about two hours, my colleagues were taken to the Shell Camp Station and dumped, to make it look like a police action.
“But the police knows that the matter was subjudiced, the Federal High Court had ordered us to maintain status quo and they have no choice but to release my colleagues.’’
He further pointed out: “This confirms the lack of respect for the rule of law by the government of Okorocha and now that explains why he wants state police.’’
However, the Commissioner for Information, Chinedu Ofor, said: “Governor Rochas Okorocha cannot engage thugs to invade a council secretariat, but the tenure of the chairmen had elapsed and they do not have any more business in the council.”