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Okuama killing: Army releases detained traditional ruler to Sen. Dafinone



The Nigerian Army on Friday released the King of Ewu Kingdom, Clement Ikolo, who had been in detention following the killing of 17 personnel in Okuama community in Delta on March 14.

The traditional had surrendered himself after he was declared wanted alongside seven other suspects by the army in connection with the incident.

Ikolo was handed over the Senator Representing Delta Central, Sen. Ede Dafinone by the Director, Army Public Relations, Maj.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu.

While briefing newsmen on the release of the traditional ruler, Nwachukwu said the army authorities decided to release the royal father on bail to the senator after preliminary investigation.

He said that while there were no sufficient evidence of the traditional ruler’s culpability, it was also too early to exonerate anyone form the dastardly act.

Army spokesperson said the manhunt for those who perpetrated the crime directly, supported or knew about it, was ongoing.

According to him, Ikolo in whose domain the dastardly act took place, surrendered to the Nigeria Police, who in turn handed him over to the Nigerian army.

“Since his surrender, the Nigerian Army has painstakingly reviewed every available information on the incident and has come to some preliminary observations and inferences.

“One of which is that, while culpability has not been conclusively established against the traditional ruler, there is insufficient evidence, to exonerate anyone at this stage.

“Nevertheless, on the intervention of distinguished Senator Dafinone, representing Delta Central, and his vouching for the monarch’s character, and the fact that the monarch voluntarily turned himself in for questioning, it has been decided that His Highness be released to the Senator.

“He has agreed to act as surety for his release on the condition that be will always assist the army and other agencies of government investigating the Okuama killing incident, to have access to the monarch whenever needed.”

Nwachukwu said the release of the traditional ruler was in line with the army’s commitment to upholding rule of law and justice.

He encouraged others declared wanted to make themselves available for questioning, assuring that they would receive fair and decent treatment.

The army spokesman further assured that anyone found culpable would be strictly subjected to constitutional provisions for handling such cases.

In his response, the traditional ruler thanked God, Delta Governor and members of the National Assembly from the state for their support.

He said that the army accorded him fair treatment, and was kept in a decent facility during his detention.

The royal father promised to support and cooperate with the army to ensure that the perpetrators of the dastardly act were brought to book.

The Senator on his part, commended the Nigerian army for exhibiting high level of professionalism in the handling of the crisis, and attested that the traditional ruler was treated with dignity.

Sumaila Ogbaje

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