Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
The Ebonyi State Police Command on Monday confirmed the arrest of one Mr Emmanuel (surname withheld) for allegedly having a hand in the death of one Mr. Elias Nwankwoagu in Nwofe community in Izzi council area of the southeastern state.
Elias (popularly known as a Okirika) was gunned down at a political rally organised by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at Nwofe Primary School field.
The deceased, Daily Sun gathered, was related to the immediate past Commissioner for Justice in the state, Chief Augustine Nwankwoagu.
Briefing newsmen in his office, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs Loveth Odah, narrated the incident as follows:
“On 17th day of February, being Saturday, according to the DPO of Izzi, he said around after 2 o’clock in the afternoon, some people came and told him that a large number of people were gathered at one primary school at Nwofe.
“Last Monday the CP had a meeting with all the DPOs and HODs in Ebonyi State. He directed actually that in any gathering people numbered ten and above, the DPO should lead policemen to the area including weddings. He gave the directive because of the recent attacks here and there.
“He said that before he could get there, one person had been shot dead. He said that he was not notified by writing, verbal or any means that such a rally was going to be held in that venue.
“He saw a large number of people, and according to the CP’s directive, he rushed the venue. On reaching there, it was a political rally organized by the PDP political stakeholders.
“He said that on getting information that somebody was just shot dead, he rushed to the classroom where the Elias Nwankwoagu was shot. He carried the body in a pool of blood to the Federal Teaching Hospital for treatment. On reaching there the doctor confirmed him dead.
“He rushed back to the venue because much people were still gathered together. On reaching there, it was revealed that the Honourable Speaker of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Hon. Francis Nwifuru, was declaring his interest to contest for the next election. That was according to the information at his disposal at the end.
“That unknown gunmen lured this Mr. Elias Nwankwoagu (popularly known as Okirika) into the classroom and shot him.”
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Francis Nwifuru, who spoke through his Special Assistant on Media and Protocol, Tony Nwizi, said that he neither organized the rally nor declared his intension to run for re-election.
He also said that the event was a ward meeting organized by the stakeholders of PDP in the area. He, however, said that he had gone to the family of the deceased to console them.