Ben Dunno, Warri
The Delta State branch of Committee for Defense of Human Rights (CDHR) has attributed the cause of communal crises across the state to undue interference by external forces, especially prominent politicians from the affected communities who are desperately out to suppress the wish of the people.
It has, therefore, warned the political class to desist from imposing what it called their over-bearing influence on their communities during the process of selecting or electing community executives, as such tendencies are capable of promoting acrimony amongst kinsmen and subsequent crisis in the communities.
Speaking against the backdrop of the ongoing crisis in Otu-Jeremi, Ughelli South Local Government Areas, where the community had been involved in a protracted leadership tussle, the CDHR demanded that the pending judgement before an Otu-Jereni High court currently being withheld due to personal influence be delivered.
Making this demand in a statement signed by the CDHR chairman in the state, Comrade (Dr.) Prince Kehinde Taiga, the body also requested that the suspects arrested in connection with the invasion of the presiding judge’s office, where all documents relating to the case were carted away be brought to book.
According to the statement, “The judge had earlier slated judgement for August 23, 2018, but along the line he received a call from the Chief Judge of the state that the should keep the judgement on hold based on the fact that there are more petitions involving the matter before him in Asaba.
“Barely five days after this judgement was suspended, precisely August 28, 2018, some community indigenes, suspected led by one Karo, broke into the office of the presiding judge and made away with relevant documents and evidences including files and laptop that were kept in the office of the judge”.
“Aggrieved by this ugly development, the community hunted for those behind the burgle of the judge’s office and in the process arrested three persons (all indigenes) while Karo who happens to be the main suspect, as all the stolen items were found at his residence managed to escape and remained at large till now.
“We are surprised that after few days in detention, the three persons arrested were granted bails but were still being detained as none of them could meet bail conditions set by the judge after they appeared in court over the crime committed.
“What has, however, remained puzzling to us at CDHR that since when the suspects were still being detained was the manner in which the police decided to be silent on the case by not going after the rest of the suspects now at large and not prosecuting those in detention.”
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Similarly, the body also lamented the frequent vandalisation of street lights within the community and urged the police to commence without further delay the prosecution of two suspects that were earlier arrested in connection with the street light project vandalism in the community to serve as deterrent to others.
“Consequently, we are urging the Delta State police commissioner, CP Muhammad Mustafa, to immediately order the arrest of the suspects who participated in the judge’s office invasion and are now at large with the aim of prosecution.
“We also appealed to the Chief Judge of the state to order the immediate pronouncement of earlier suspended judgement without further delay in order to reduce the tension and acrimony amongst kinsmen in the community”, the body stated.