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By: Grace Egbo – Abakaliki
A high court sitting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital, has restrained Nigerian Police Force from arresting the governorship candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the state, Professor Bernard Odoh over the murder of his Umuezeokoha Traditional Ruler, HRH, Ezeogo Christopher Igboke Ewa.
The court presided by Chief Judge of the state, Justice Elvis Ngene, restrained the police from arresting Odoh on Friday.
Ewa, who doubles as the Chairman of Ezza Traditional Rulers council was murdered on Monday night at his palace in Umuezeokaha community, Ezza North local government area of the state by unknown assassins and police declared Odoh wanted following a petition brought against him by some members of the family.
Meanwhile, an Owerri High Court last week restrained the Police from arresting him.
However, in a matter brought before the Abakaliki High Court 1 by one of the deceased monarch’s son, Prince Igboke Collins Emeka against Prof. Benard I. Odoh, Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi State and Inspector General of Police, seeking an order of mandamus to arrest and try the former SSG, the applicant prayed the court for an Order of Mandamus directing the CP and IGP to immediately arrest Prof. Odoh to answer to the allegation of his involvement in the murder of HRH Ezeogo C. Ewa.
Counsel to Odoh, led by C.K. Okorie, Esq challenged the jurisdiction of the court to hear the application.
After hearing the motion for jurisdiction and the substantive suit, the court ordered that the police should first do a thorough and independent investigation into the complaint and if anybody is found culpable of the alleged murder, such person should be arrested.
The court refused to order for the arrest of Prof. Odoh as prayed by the applicants.
Reacting to the ruling, one of the counsels to the 1st defendant, (Prof. Benard I. Odoh); Sir Petrus I. Elechi, Esq applauded the judgement of the court and appreciated the court for the sound judgment and for not allowing the court to be used as tool for political witch-hunt.
He expressed joy that the court stood on the path of the rule of law wherein it ordered that the police should carry out a thorough and independent investigation into the matter before staging the arrest of anyone found culpable.
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