Ebonyi govt inaugurates judicial panel of inquiry over Effium crisis

By Nwaeze Angela

Ebonyi State Government  has inaugurated Judicial panel of inquiry, to look into the bloody clash between the people of Effium and Ezza Effium in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state.

It would be recalled the people of Effium and Ezza Effium have been at war for the past two weeks with many lives lost and properties burnt, even as the war is still raging as gathered.

The state government stated that security agents have been deployed to the community to prevent further breakdown of law and order.

The panel is chaired by Justice Omaka Elekwa, Barr. Gilbert Okorie is Secretary. Other members include HRH Eze Chukwu Agwu, Rev. Fr. Moses Ogudu, Rev. Fr. Okoro Agha, Barr. Mrs. Nkem Chukwu, HRH Ezeogo Azu Ewah.

The members were given the mandate to determine the remote and immediate causes of crisis in the communities.

Inaugurating the panel, Governor David Umahi, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, noted that the panel is expected to submit its report in the next six days.

“In the choice of the membership of this commission, your track record and integrity was considered and your impartial conduct was also very paramount in choosing you as member of this commission.

“You are already aware that crisis erupted in Effium couple of weeks ago and state government has taken very deep steps in ensuring that peace and normalcy return to the place.

“Government went out of its way to procure some relief materials to assuage the pains of those who were rendered destitute in that community. The distribution of that materials will soon commence as soon as the indigenes of that community begin to return home.

“However, I am also aware that the Governor has directed the Commissioner for Human Capital Development to make other procurements and begin to visit this people who are rendered homeless and temporarily made to become destitute in their own land wherever they are hibernating; some of them are in churches, some are in schools, some are in houses of relations and those who are kind enough to accommodate them. Government feels it is necessary to reach out to them while they are in all these hibernations pending the time they will finally return to their own land.

“You are to determine the remote and immediate causes of the crisis that led to the loss of lives and destruction of properties in Effium and Ezza Effium in Ohaukwu local government. You are also to determine the extent of damage of the properties and loss of lives. You are to determine those directly or indirectly involved in the mayhem and apportion blames appropriately as you deemed fit. You are also to recommend measures and means to be taken by government to restore normalcy and forestall further occurrence of the ugly incident.

“As Chairman and members of this commission, you are already aware of the importance of this commission. We have deployed the Police and other security apparatus to the communities to secure lives and livelihood that is still remaining. The essence of doing this is to ensure that you have a tranquil atmosphere to do your job without fear or favour,” Kelechi stated.

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