• en

Military Shouldn’t Act As Law Unto Itself, Abraham Ogbodo Says, Urges Fair Probe Into Okuama Ambush

Abraham Ogbodo says it is not the place of the military to declare people wanted.

Former Editor of the Guardian Newspaper and Niger Delta Leader of Thoughts, Abraham Ogbodo, has said that the military should stop acting as a law to itself and allow for proper investigations to be carried out in the ambush and murder of 17 military officers that happened in Okuama.

In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Friday, Ogbodo, reacting to the Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) declaring eight people wanted in the murder of the military officers, which included the Ovie of Ewu-Urhobo Kingdom in Ughelli South LGA of Delta State, His Royal Majesty, Clement Oghenerukevwe Ikolo, said that it is not the place of the military to do so, and that proper investigation should be carried out.

Ogbodo said that “the military just wants to run with its own story and nothing matters. It’s what it says that must be followed.”

The former guardian editor emphasized, “What matters is an investigation. Let this crime be investigated. If proper investigation is done, and then the king or whoever is found to be an accessory before or after the fact of the crime, then so be it. But none of this has been done, and we keep on- the army, the Defence headquarters, is it part of their duty to make declaration of wanted persons? On what basis?

“That investigation has been done, then those people are found to be culpable in one way or the other? And if that declaration is made, how is it done usually? Is it not through the police or some other agencies that has the function to do that? But the military is all to itself, doing everything, and then, we are just there as if we are not in a democratic setting.”

Ogbodo said that the military is making it look like the killing of the 17 soldiers in Okuama community was a crime against the military alone, and not against the entire Nigerian State.

He then expatiated on this saying, “Every crime is against the Nigerian state, that is the position of criminal jurisprudence but it (the military) is making it look like this crime is against the army, and the army now has assumed the position of a state, a sovereignty, and maybe it has its own Attorney General and it wants to prosecute a crime on behalf of the Nigerian State or on behalf of itself as a state.

“It’s not proper, and when we are running with this narrative, we don’t know at what point it’s going to backfire with a lot of backlashes. We should organise a society along the rules set down to govern a society, not this haphazard approach that has been since the incidence of the Okuama killings took place.”

Ogbodo then explained that the Ovie of Ewu-Urhobo Kingdom, who turned himself into the police on Thursday in a bid to prove his innocence, is not the traditional ruler of Okuama kingdom. He said that the distance between where the Ovie resides and where the crime happened is quite a distance away.

The former editor said, “The man you are linking with this crime now is a man that relocated from London to just take the throne, and he is far away physically from the scene of crime. His only connection is that he happens to be the traditional ruler of a kingdom of which Okuama is a satellite village.”

He was then asked if the other people who were declared wanted should turn themselves into police custody, to which he replied, “It has become a situation of individual responsibility. The Ovie of Ewu Kingdom is a well respected individual. He’s high above some of these situations they are creating around him. And so, I’m sure that in his own thinking, he just felt that the best thing is to just go surrender himself to the authorities. It wouldn’t be proper that a traditional ruler will just be hunted and maybe in some kind of commando style will be bundled and thrown into a waiting truck of the military and then taken to some destination that nobody will know about. And so, he felt that the proper thing to do is just that.

“But what we are talking about now is that that atmosphere is not even there for those being accused to just come out to seek remedies, to either prove their innocence either in court or for the police to take custody and take them to court for proper trial to begin. That is not done at all, all we hear is what the military wants to do.”

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

Follow us on: