Six councilors from Aninri local government of Enugu State were at weekend arrested by the Enugu State police command for allegedly entering into the council headquarters at Ndeabor forcefully.
The councilors who were granted bail after being quizzed and told to report to the police command are Hon. Chukwu Okereke, Okpanku Ward, who claimed to be the leader; Hon Simeon Aja, Mpu Ward, who claimed to be deputy leader; Hon Vitus Eze, Oduma I, who claimed to be majority leader; Hon Mrs Louisa Achieze, who claimed to be chief whip; Hon Mrs Mabel Onwukwe, Oduma II; and Hon Chidi Orji, Nenwe I.
They were said to have been arrested in connection with the alleged breaking of the entrance gate to the council, the door of the legislative building and carting away of important documents and items from the local government.
But speaking to newsmen in Enugu the six councilors said that their arrest was on the orders of the council Chairman, Hon. Ezekiel Chukwu.
They alleged that they were marched to the State CID from Ndeabor where they went to witness the distribution of palliatives to some indigent persons by the Commissioner for Transport, Hon. Matthias Ekweremadu (Jnr.).
Furthermore, they claimed that the emergence of Hon. Okereke as leader and other principal officers was the bone of contention as it did not go down well with the chairman, whom they alleged trumped up charges of illegal and forceful entrance to the legislative chambers for their sitting and conducting their constitutional duties responsibly.
The councilors said the chairman took the matter to the state CID and that D11 was handling the matter.
However, the council chairman, Chukwu in a swift reaction denied being responsible for the arrest of the councilors, stressing that they reported themselves to the police.
Chukwu said that some people broke into the council as early as 4:45 am and the security was able to identify two persons, “Emmanuel Okoro and one Philip Igwe, these two have no business in the local government so they were arrested.”
He further said: “The day the councilors reported themselves at the police and were subsequently detained was not the day that palliatives were distributed in the council.
“After the arrest of the two persons identified by the security at the council on the day of the invasion, the councilors came to the police station to claim that they were the people that gained access into the council and that those arrested were their aides.”
Dismissing the claim of the arrested councilors that they were principal officers, Chukwu said: “Hon. Christian Nwachukwu is the leader of the legislative Assembly, they have been inaugurated and receiving their salaries; I read the proclamation and the Clerk of the Assembly swearing them in.”
The State Police Public Relations Officer, Daniel Ndukwe (ASP) who was contacted for more confirmation on the matter said he would get the details as he didn’t have any of such records.