Julius Ama's Open Letter On Ekoli Edda Crises; A Substanceless Distraction - Orji

By Celestine Okeh, Abakaliki

Ebonyi state Government has described as Substanceless distraction, the open letter authored by a business man, Chief Julius Ama Orji over the unfortunate Ekoli Edda Carnage of 26th December, 2022, which claimed three lives and property worth hundreds of million.

In a statement from the Commissioner for Information and State orientation, Barr Uchenna Orji in response to the an open letter written by Chief Julius Ama Orji and published in Sun Newspaper of 19th January, 2023, reads in part;
"The attention of Ebonyi State Government has been drawn to a publication in DailySun Newspapers dated 19th January,2023 and authored by Chief Julius Ama Oji , whose accusation was nothing but that the State Government and other institutions of the Federal Government could not act upon a self serving Panel  of Inquiry spearheaded by him and instituted by a group not known to any law called Edda Identity.

"We view this publication as a substanceless distraction by a captious and  ill-willed complainer who is saddened by the truce  achieved  by the State Government over the rift that led to the  unfortunate attack at Ekoli Edda that caused lives and properties.

"The expressions contained in the said publication are unfair and unreasonable opinions formed without enough thought and knowledge of the notion of panel of inquiry,  with reasonings tainted by highly divisive  and self seeking  aggrandizement of a man that is completely made-up in his bias and sentiments against peace and reconciliation in his own clan.

"In his narrative of a report of a Panel of Inquiry set up in 2020 by a Platform called Edda Identity and his  reservations against the State Government as well as some Federal Institutions, Chief Julius Ama Oji aggrieved  erroneously by expecting Ebonyi State Government and other institutions of Federal Government to act upon a report by a Panel not backed by any  law of the land and for which he was  accused of being one of the key actors in the 2020 crisis in Edda.

"For the record, Ebonyi State Government has not rested in her oars in ensuring that the peace loving people of Ekoli Edda that recently suffered a breach of peace are returned to their old past of peace and harmony. The State Government's directive on manhunt on  the  perpetrators of the dastardly act at Ekoli Edda in Afikpo South Local Government Area  recently is being satisfactorily  discharged by the Police as a number of culprits have been arrested and they must face the long arms of the law together with those at large. 

"In order to ensure lasting peace and harmonious co-existence in the afflicted community, the State Governor, acting pursuant to Section 3 of the Commission of Inquiry Law(Cap 29) Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria 2009 constituted a Commission of Inquiry into the causes of the killings at Ekoli Edda on the  26th and 31st day of December,2022, with a mandate to  wit:
- to look into the immediate and remote causes of the killing of persons at Ekoli Edda,Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State on the 26th and 31st December,2022
- to resolve the conflict among brothers and sisters of Ekoli Edda and institute permanent spirit of forgiveness and peace among them
- to recommend necessary measures to take in restoring normalcy in the affected communities.
-to recommend both short  and long term measures for curbing such dastardly act at  Ekoli Edda and within the State before, during and after 2023 General Elections.

"It is to be noted that this  Administrative Commission of Inquiry has prominent sons of proven integrity of  Afikpo South Local Government Area as Chairman and members and they are bound by time to submit their report.

"Let it be mentioned further that  Chief Julius Ama Oji in the said publication alluded to the fact that he knows those  masterminding killings in  Edda clan. We encourage him to follow the part of honour by giving the Police useful information on the identities of those within his knowledge, that are responsible for the killings or he will be deemed to be concealing  crimes committed under his knowledge. Government on her part is mindful of the universal standard of proof for criminal prosecution and must do everything possible not to link innocent people to  offence they never committed, no matter the pressure. No person is shielded and the principle of prima-facie cannot  be sacrificed on the altar of sentiment.

"Again let it be mentioned that  Chief Julius Ama Oji was misguided in holding that the offence of the hard working  Police was that they charged murder suspects arrested by them to a Magistrate Court. He should know that Holding Charge  has not been outlawed in our legal system and that the State Attorney- General has not been found wanting in his judicious application of his powers  of nolle prosecui.  We urge Chief Julius Ama Oji not to dabble in the  issues of law without proper legal advice as law is not an act of buying and selling.

"The wave of progress in the peace initiative at  Ekoli Edda and indeed the entire Edda clan  shows that Chief Julius Amah is on his own and has a dire need to embrace peace and reconciliation that is gradually  and permanently returning to the afflicted communities. Blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called children of God".

The statement finally, enjoined members of public to disregard Chief Julius Amah's falsehood.

"Members of the public are enjoined to disregard the insinuations and falsehood of Chief Julius Ama Oji conveyed in his sponsored publication as     a condemnable clog in the  wheel of the peace of the good people of Edda clan".

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