The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Ebonyi State, Benard Odoh, has denied knowledge of the murder of traditional ruler of Umuezekoha community, Ezeogo Igboke Ewa.
Following the assassination of Ewa on February 26 by gunmen, the Ebonyi State Police Command declared him and nine other persons wanted on Monday.
Until his gruesome murder, the victim was the Chairman of Ezza Traditional Rulers in Ezza North LGA of Ebonyi.
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In a statement on Tuesday, the governorship candidate said allegations of complicity against him were malicious, baseless, spurious and should be disregarded.
“I reiterate my earlier position in the media that I know nothing and absolutely nothing about the assassination of my traditional ruler,” Odoh was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Charles Out.
“I am not on the run and cannot be said to be on the run for any reason whatsoever, but pursuing and seeking the resolution of the false and misleading allegation brought against me through legal and peaceful means.
“The allegations are politically motivated and intended to undermine my chances of winning the March 11 governorship election in Ebonyi.”
According to the governorship hopeful, he has secured an order from an Owerri High Court restraining the police or their agents from arresting or harassing him.
He stated that those listed as wanted in the police publication were APGA supporters and members of the Umuezekoha community.
Odoh added, “Nigerian law still presumes an accused person innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.
“I have already obtained an order: HOW/194/2023 from a high court in Owerri dated March 3, restraining the police and other security agencies from harassing or arresting me until the matter before the court is determined.
“The inspector-general of police (IGP) and other security agencies have been served with the court order accordingly.
“The IGP upon being served the said order stopped all actions in the matter concerning the court, but the commissioner of police in Ebonyi has continued to take action contrary to the orders of court.
“Further, the family of the late Ezeogo filed a suit No. HBA/47MC/2023 alleging that the commissioner of police in Ebonyi has been compromised by failing to arrest me.
“Ebonyi high court has not determined the matter, yet the commissioner of police in Ebonyi continued to take steps over the sub-judice matter.”
He also commiserated with the family of the traditional ruler over what he described as a very painful, unfortunate and tragic loss.
Odoh urged his supporters to remain calm and resolute in their support for him to win the governorship election.