Ebonyi LP senatorial candidate arrested not abducted – Police

Linus Okorie, the Ebonyi South senatorial candidate of the Labour Party (LP) reportedly abducted was actually arrested for drug related offences the police in the state has clarified.

Mr Okorie was said to have been abducted on Sunday but a statement from Chris Anyanwu, a police superintendent, debunked the report, clarifying that he was also arrested for incitement by Ebubeagu operatives, a regional security in the South-East geo-political zone.

“Sequel to initial viral rumours renting the air, cum a Press Release accredited to one Dr David Ogbonna of HON LINUS OKORIE CARINGHEART FOUNDATION, purporting that Hon Linus Abaa Okorie, a former member of House of Representatives, was ‘abducted/kidnapped’ yesterday (16/10/2022), the Ebonyi State Police Command swung into action and later traced the said Honourable Okorie (who had evaded many Police arrests/invitations), to the head office of the Ebubeagu Security Outfit at the Old Government House,” the statement reads.

“Police detectives were briefed on why he was arrested which includes; his activities and utterances that incited and provoked the violence that engulfed Onicha LGA which led to suspected IPOB/ESN operatives or unknown gunmen to unleash mayhem in the area, leaving seven (7) persons dead at the end of that fracas. Hence, the case has now been taken over by the Police Command for preliminary investigation.

“Secondly, Hon Linus Abaa Okorie was severally invited by the Security and Intelligence Bureau of the Command over a petition dated 23/3/2022, authored by the State’s Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice, alleging that he was spreading fake news against His Excellency, Engr Dave Umahi, accusing the Governor of illegally withdrawing #6.7 billion from State Government’s Account to fund the Appeal Court Judgment against his removal from office, etc.

“Similar to the above is another series of false allegations against the Government of Ebonyi State and the Police Command in his social media handles.

“When invited by the SIB over the false allegations/petition, Honourable Linus Abaa Okorie in his characteristic pompous manner refused vehemently to report to the SIB for a chat. Rather he chose to file fallacious suits against the Police Command.

“It is also pertinent to mention that Honourable Linus Abaa Okorie also have a pending case in which he is implicated in a drug-related offence where the suspects purported to be his agents were arrested for hard drug sales and use at his City Hub Inn, Mile 50, Abakaliki. Case was later transfered to the NDLEA for further necessary actions.

“The Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi State Command, CP Aliyu Garba psc(+), therefore makes it categorically clear that Honourable Linus Abaa Okorie was neither abducted nor kidnapped and warns that people should desist from painting pictures of insecurity in the State by propagating unfounded rumours. Ebubeagu is a lawfully established local security outfit by the House of Assembly and Government of Ebonyi State. If the outfit as empowered by the State Law, arrests anybody, it shouldn’t be interpreted as abduction or kidnapping because those terms mean different things. However, it is expected that the outfit after effecting such arrest, should hand over the matter to the Police for further investigation and other necessary actions which has played out in this instance.

“In view of the above, Dr David Ogbonna of Hon Linus Okorie CaringHeart Foundation is warned to henceforth know the implication of wrong choice of words when next dishing out information for public consumption otherwise he will face the dire consequences as enshrined in the laws of the land.

“The CP further reassures the good people of Ebonyi State that there is no cause for alarm and advises that everyone should go about their lawful businesses without any fear of molestation, please.”