BY AGNES NWORIE
A High Court sitting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State has restrained the Nigeria Police from arresting the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Bernard Odoh, over the murder of Umuezeokoha Traditional Ruler, Ezeogo Christopher Igboke Ewa.
The court presided over by Chief Judge of the state, Justice Elvis Ngene, restrained the police from arresting Odoh in connection to the monarch’s death on Friday.
Ewa who doubles as the Chairman of the Ezza Traditional Rulers Council was murdered penultimate Monday at his palace in the Umuezeokaha community, Ezza North local government area of the state by unknown assassins.
Following the incident, the police declared Odoh wanted after a petition was brought against him by some members of the family.
An Owerri High Court also last week restrained the Police from arresting him.
However, another matter was brought before the Abakaliki High Court 1 by one of the deceased monarch’s sons, Igboke Collins Emeka against 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 Commissioner of Police and the IGP to immediately arrest Odoh to answer to the allegation of his involvement in the murder of Ewa.
Counsel to Odoh led by C.K. Okorie, 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 a person should be arrested.
The court refused to order the arrest of Odoh as prayed by the applicants.
Reacting to the ruling, one of the counsels to the 1st defendant, (Benard I Odoh); Petrus I. Elechi, applauded the judgment of the court and appreciated the court for the sound judgment and for not allowing the court to be used as a tool for a 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.