The Commander of the Anti-Cultism/Kidnapping Squad (ACKS) of the Nigeria Police, Cross River State Command, Essien Efoli, has summoned the paramount ruler of the former governor of the state, Senator Liyel Imoke’s local government area, (Abi), His Royal Highness, Eval Osim Godwin and twelve other Village Heads to its office in Calabar.
In a statement entitled ‘Invitation’ and dated June 21, 2019 and signed by the commander, Efoli stated, “You are kindly requested to report at the State Anti-Cultism/Kidnapping Squad, Cultural Centre Calabar on Tuesday 25th June 2019 by 10.00hours prompt.
“This office is investigating a case of threat to lives. Cultism and conduct likely to cause the breach of peace reported to the commissioner of Police, Cross River State.
“You will please bring along with you the following persons, Eval Fidelis Ebal Enya, Clan Head of Anong Ezeke Clan, Chief Peter Etuki Egbara, Clan Head Ekureku-B, Chief Martins Eval Bassey, Village Head of Akarefor Clan, Chief Gregory Imoke, Village of Anon Ezeke, Chief Andrew Ekpoto, Village Head of Itigere,
“Chief Emmanuel Eteng Ezeke, Clan Head of Agbara, Chief Puis Iyoku Nkanu, Village Head of Ngarabe, Chief Clement Bassey Village Head of Ngarabe, Chief Donatus Ele, Village Head of Attakongha Clan, Chief Enya Igbo, Village Head Attakongha Clan, Chief Demian Egbata, Village Head Attakongha and Chief Francis Egbe Imoke, Village Head Agbara”.
The statement added, “On arrival, you will please ask of the office of the Commander ACKS, Calabar” The statement was copied to the Commissioner of Police, Dept of Finance and Admin, State Police Headquarters, Diamond Hill, Calabar, “Above for your information. Please” it stated
When contacted on phone, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Irene Ugbo, said she was not aware of any such letter of invitation to the Paramount ruler of Abi and twelve others.
Similarly, when GCFRNG contacted the Paramount Ruler of Abi, His Royal Majesty Oval Solomon Osim Edward, he denied knowledge of such letter. “It’s not my duty to come with anyone to Calabar, in any case, who gave them my name”
He said the name in the invitation was not his name, “If they have any case, they should go to the village concern not inviting me for what I don’t know, I am not from there, they don’t know my name and I have not seen any letter of invitation” he stated.
It would be recalled that three Ekureku indigenes and their families; Mr. Evans Bassey, Mr. Egbe Agbong and Mr. Iloke Godwin were allegedly banished for bearing witness in a tribunal pertinent to a petitions in a matter before the Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency Election.
A source, who preferred anonymity alleged that the Traditional chiefs in Ekureku community of Abi Local Government Area banished the three indigenes alongside their families for witnessing before a tribunal on election petitions they perceived not in their favour for their choice candidate for the Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency, Alex Egbonna, a native of Ekureku.
Some of the witnesses, who appeared before the tribunal sitting on Monday, June 17 are currently under gun-and-fire.
A native of Ekureku, who pleaded that his name should not be mentioned said “After the court sitting on Monday, June 17, one of the witnesses, Mr. Evans Bassey, upon returning to his homestead in Agbara clan met a decree from the traditional rulers, that, he and all members of his family had lost their heritage as borned indigenes of the said village.
“They were cut-off from any acquaintances in the village and access to market, water streams. Accordingly, the entire citizens of the village were barred from relating with Mr. Evans’ family and defaulters shall not go unpunished. On Tuesday, Mr. Evans younger brother went out of the house to buy food stuff, youths of the village fell on him, got him beaten and set him N.aked.
“Another victim, called Iloke Godwin from Ngarabe clan was also declared banished on Wednesday, earlier, another witness, Mr. Egbe Agbong and family, his mother and father were beaten, N.aked and bundled as well as taken to the boundaries between Ekureku and Itigidi, they were dumped,” he alleged.