Ebonyi Declares Ex-House Member Wanted for Inciting Comments on Facebook

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Benjamin Nworie in Abakaliki

Ebonyi State Government yesterday declared a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Linus Okorie, wanted over an alleged defamatory publication on the social media.

In a joint press briefing held by the state Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Cletus Ofoke, and the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Uchenna Orji, the former federal lawmaker was accused of posting inciting statement on his Facebook page which allegedly led to the murder of Ebubeagu security operative in Ikwo Local Government Area of the state.

Okorie, who was a two-term member of the House of Representatives, is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He said: “The council considered a report presented to it by security agencies on the beheading of an Ebubeagu official in Ikwo LGA on January 9, 2022.

“The council noted the report on the issues and the revelation contained in it, and therefore, resolved to declare Okorie wanted for the publication of inciting statements some of which were posted on Facebook that were traced to be part of the inflammatory publications that really spurred the tension that led to the beheading of the Ebubeagu official.”

Orji said the council noted that some other persons were accessories to the gruesome murder of the individual.

He said the council urged security agencies to expedite action on the investigation with a view to bringing all those involved to face the law.

In his swift reaction, Okorie noted that there were no particulars of the allegation leveled against him to warrant the defamatory declaration by the state security council.

He said: “If indeed such a decision was arrived at by the security council, one would doubt that the police and other security agencies were represented at such a meeting. This is because it is the duty of the Nigerian Police to investigate crimes and invite all named suspects for interrogation and even when a suspect fails to honor an invitation, there is a clear procedure that must be followed before such a person can be declared wanted by the police and not any security council meeting.

“Let it be known that I have never been invited to answer to any allegations by the Nigerian Police or other security agencies anywhere in Nigeria.

“Secondly, without being inviting by the police, I cannot lawfully be declared wanted by any authority for such an alleged crime by the police or any other authority under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Again, going through the excerpts of the media briefing, I find no particulars of the allegation leveled against me to warrant the defamatory declaration by the said state security council.”