Saturday, December 3, 2022

Imo Assembly Crisis: Oil communities ask IGP to release arrested lawmaker

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Shittu Shola
Shittu Shola
Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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The Patrons Association of Imo Oil Producing Communities, PIOPC, has urged the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, to intervene in the release of arrested lawmaker, Heclus Okoro, in the ongoing crisis in the state assembly.

Its chairman, David Mbachu, made the call in a statement issued to newsmen in Lagos on Monday in which he said the release of the lawmaker was necessary to avert a breakdown of law and order.

Mr Okoro, (APC, Ohaji/Egbema) was originally elected on the platform of Action Alliance, AA, before defecting to the APC in the House.

The police arrested and detained the lawmaker last Friday following a fracas that broke out between him and his colleagues at the Government House, Owerri.

The PIOPC also issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the police on Monday demanding Okoro’s immediate release.

Mr Mbachu said that oil producing communities in the state would use all legal means to secure the release of Okoro, whom, he said was being victimised for siding with the impeached Speaker of the House.

Members of the Imo House of Assembly impeached the Speaker, Dr Chiji Collins  (APC, Isiala Mbano) last Friday and replaced him with Paul Emeziem (APC, Onuimo),

In a statement she issued last Saturday, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Hope Uzodinma on New and Electronic Media, Nneamaka Okafor, confirmed Okoro’s arrest for fighting inside the premises of Government House.

She alleged that Okoro was in the Government House to fight when his colleagues were presenting the new Speaker to the governor, a claim which was refuted by the PIOPC chairman.

The PIOPC chairman said Okoro was invited to the Government House by his colleagues and upon arrival, was descended upon and beaten up.

Mr Mbachu argued that if it was true that Okoro was at the Government House of fight, those with whom he fought ought to have been arrested also.


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