By Chinwe Imo-Eze Onwosi
The Ebonyi State government on Monday said the former member of the House of Representatives, who represented Ohanivo Federal Constituency, Hon Linus Abaa Okorie was arrested by a lawful security outfit over serial crimes allegedly committed by him, contrary to the insinuations in some quarters that he was kidnapped.
Commissioner for Information and State Orientation in the state, Barrister Uchenna Orji, who stated this while briefing journalists on the issues surrounding Mr Okorie’s arrest, said he had been evading arrest.
Orji said: “It has become imperative to put the records straight over the sensations caused by the mendacious and deceptive account of the cronies of Hon. Linus Abba Okorie over his arrest which was truly in connection with serial crimes allegedly committed by him and the complicity of his club facility – the City Hub, in promoting sundry crimes especially in peddling hard drugs and other illicit substances.
“We have noted the motive behind the weighty but baseless accusations levelled against the security outfit that carried out its lawful and professional duty in relation to the offences hanging around the neck of Hon. Linus Abba Okorie and for which he had for the umpteenth time rudely and subversively evaded every attempt by the Police to arrest him to answer to the crimes he was suspected to have committed, including capital offences.
“Contrary to the unfounded, irresponsible and vicious accusations widely circulated in social media for cheap political gains, the suspect – Hon. Linus Abba Okorie was arrested and promptly handed over to the Police and he is pretty hale and hearty. He is already giving useful information on his roles in the offences reported against him.”
The State spokesman further disclosed that the State government had petitioned the Commissioner of Police on 23rd of March, 2022, against Mr Okorie over an alleged “maliciously concocted and virally circulated criminal and defamatory onslaught against the person of the Governor.”
“It is noteworthy to mention that in a petition dated 23rd March 2022 and which was transmitted to the office of the Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi State Command on 24th March 2022, the Honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice sought the arrest of Hon. Linus Abba Okorie over the maliciously concocted and virally circulated criminal and defamatory onslaught against the person of the Governor which violated the extant provisions of Ebonyi State Cybercrimes (Prohibition) Law No 012, 2021 and the Internal Security Law of the State. We were told the Police made several efforts to arrest the said Hon Linus Abba Okorie who was moving fugitively to frustrate the long arms of the Law.
“It is also noteworthy to mention that the Cybercrimes Crack Team in the Ministry of Information and State Orientation reported a criminal case of contravention of the Cybercrimes Laws of Ebonyi State by Hon. Linus Abba Okorie dated 20th January 2022 and same acknowledged by the office of the Commissioner of Police on 31st January 2022. We were told that the said suspect – Hon Linus Abba Okorie had been evading the cause of the investigation.
“On the 16th day of October 2022, actionable intelligence propelled the Ebubeagu Security Agency to operationally track the said Hon Linus Abba Okorie over security information that his staff, to his knowledge, was harbouring illicit drug traffickers in his club facility, one of whom had been arrested, charged to Court and convicted in Charge No: FHC/AI/41C/2022 in the Federal High Court of Nigeria, in the Abakaliki Division.”
He emphasized that “Ebonyi State Ebubeagu Security Agency is a creation of the Law established, to among other things, collaborate with and assist the Police and other security agencies in maintaining Law and Order, including but not limited to, ensuring that offenders are identified, arrested, profiled and promptly handed over to the nearest Police Station and this they discharged in the case of Hon. Linus Abba Okorie with a deep sense of responsibility having regard to the sanctity of his constitutional rights.
“The Law is no respecter of persons and its enforcement applies to all manners of people notwithstanding their political or economic status in the society. Our duty as a government is to ensure that the Laws are enforced in line with the best practices.”
Orji urged members of the public to “discountenance all the rumours and unfounded accusations against our hardworking Security Agencies and or government officials as the handiwork of political desperadoes who are bitter and envious about the performance index attained by Ebonyi State Government, especially in the creation of enabling physical and social environment for the advancement of our statehood as a people