Umahi, Ebonyi police conflict selves over attack on Labour Party’s supporters

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The Ebonyi police command says it attacked Labour Party’s supporters in Abakiliki on Saturday for not paying agreed fees to the state government.

This is despite the denial by the Dave Umahi’s regime that it did not order the attack of supporters embarking on #1millionmarch.

Chooks Okoh, the media aide of Governor Umahi had said he was not aware of the disruption of the rally, adding, however, that the organisers did not pay the required fees to stage the march.

He said: “The attention of the Executive Governor of Ebonyi State has been drawn to some online publications and rumours making the rounds that he ordered the disruption of a gathering in support of one of the presidential candidates in the 2023 elections. This is not true.

“The Executive Governor of Ebonyi state is certainly not aware of any disruption of any gathering as he didn’t order any. He is a democrat, who believes firmly in the rule of law. He wishes every contending politician the very best and will insist on a level playing ground for all. If it is true that the police dispersed people, the answer will surely rest with the police.’’

But the state police command, said it acted based on the rules of engagement, adding that organisers of the rally did not pay the specific fees as directed by the state government.

SP Chris Anyanwu, the public relations officer of the command said: “Several unfounded allegations of police high-handedness have been renting the air with regards to the one-million-man-rally organised by the Labour Party and other loyalists of the Peter Obi Presidential Campaign in Ebonyi State.

“It is pertinent to put the records straight in spite of all false allegations and the press release from the state government.

“Granted that the organisers of the rally had a brief meeting with the police command authority represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, it was expected that the group should abide by the outcome of the meeting and the requisite conditions given by the state government, which include the payment of a certain amount of money for the use of the stadium as a take-off point as well as another refundable sum of money as a collateral in case of any damage to government property/infrastructure.’’