People of Onicha Igboeze in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, yesterday, protested the arrest of one of their illustrious sons and Labour Party (LP) Senatorial candidate for Ebonyi South, Linus Okorie.
Okorie, it was alleged, was picked up on Sunday in Abakaliki by Ebubeagu operatives, sparking tension in his Onicha community, with youths mounting road blocks to protest his arrest. However, police in the state, in a statement, said the former lawmaker was in their custody.
Nonetheless, a youth leader, Sly Ogbu, who briefed journalists over the incident, called on security agencies to ensure that the former member of the House of Representatives was released unhurt.
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“We want to inform the world that our benefactor, two time House of Reps member and Labour Party’s Ebonyi South Senatorial candidate, Linus Abaa Okorie, is missing…
“In a worrying twist, Onicha local government chairman, through a press release from his media aide, has admitted to knowing his whereabouts. He claimed that Linus Abaa Okorie and three others were arrested for drug-related cases and have been handed over to NDLEA for other necessary actions.
“We have, however, contacted the Ebonyi State NDLEA boss, who has denied having any Linus Abaa Okorie in his custody. We are now convinced that the state and local government actors are at the centre of this abduction. It is no rocket science that Linus Abaa Okorie is the leading contender for the Ebonyi south Senatorial seat, a seat Governor Dave Umahi also wants. We can now see who wants Linus Abaa Okorie dead.”
However, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Chris Anyanwu, explained that Okorie was apprehended by Ebubeagu operatives and handed over to them for interrogation and investigation over sundry allegations.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party has demanded Okorie’s immediate and unconditional release. In a statement, yesterday, its National President, Julius Abure, alleged that some political actors in some Southeastern states, particularly, Ebonyi and Enugu, have vowed that the party and its candidates would not be allowed to campaign freely in the zone.
“This is evident with incessant attacks on members and supporters of the Labour Party and that of our other candidates. I, therefore, call on the Ebonyi State governor and the hierarchy of the security agencies, particularly the Inspector General of Police and the Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi State, to immediately effect the release of our senatorial prospect, Linus Okorie.”