Ebonyi community wants IGP to reopen case on killing of 33-year-old, Irem

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Residents of Ugwuma Edda community in Afikpo South Local Council, Ebonyi State have sent a save-our-soul to the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Alkali Baba, over the ‘gruesome’ killing of one of its own, Mr Kelechi Amos Irem, 33, in mysterious circumstances.

Irem was allegedly killed on July 31, 2021, by suspected members of a notorious group known as ‘More Kan Be Done.’

But the community alleged that the suspects were released after the Ebonyi State Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Cletus Ofoke, filed a no-case submission in favour of the accused persons.They are asking for the reopening of the case and the re- arrest of the suspects.

In the petition written by the law firm, Mudi Erhenede & Associates, (Delta Chambers) on behalf of Messrs. Abia Onyike, Samuel Okam and Imo Chima, acting for themselves and members of Edda Rescue and Intervention Initiative of Afikpo South Local Council, they  alleged that the  suspects involved in the killing, who are members of the group are still walking freely.

The petitioners accused the state government of influencing the release of the suspects, who were remanded by a magistrate court, which declined jurisdiction on the matter.

The petition reads in part: “ Flowing from relentless public outcry from friends and relatives of the deceased, some suspects were arrested in connection with the murder and charged to court.” The petition noted that the presiding magistrate declined jurisdiction and remanded the defendants in the custody of the Correctional Centre Abakaliki, Ebonyi, while the police continued to make spirited efforts to prosecute the offenders.
   
“Strangely, however, our clients were shocked to their marrow when they saw the suspects, who were supposed to be remanded in custody, in company of their cohorts and numerous members of the dreaded group, celebrating their release without any trial.”
   
The petitioners, are, therefore, praying the Inspector-General of Police to among other things, order the re-arrest of the suspects to face justice.

Contacted, the Ebonyi State Attorney–General said he could not recall the case, but said a suspect might be released if it was established that he had no link to the crime.

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