Ebubeagu has come to stay, Ebonyi rejects court judgement terminating security outfit



Uba Group

The Ebonyi State government has maintained that Ebubeagu Security outfit has come to stay and no gang up by opposition elements could change it.

The government said there is no cause for alarm over the judgement by the Federal High Court which disbanded Ebubeagu Security outfit as it has appealed the judgement.

It further disclosed that a motion for stay of execution of the judgement had been filed.

It also noted that a state high court which is a court of coordinate jurisdiction with the Federal High Court had late last year ruled that the establishment of the Ebubeagu Security outfit was lawful.

The State Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Uchenna Orji, disclosed this at a press conference in Abakaliki, on Wednesday.

The reaction was coming on the heels of judgement of Justice Fatun Riman of the Federal High Court, Abakaliki, which had, on Tuesday, ruled that the establishment of Ebubeagu Security outfit by Ebonyi State government was illegal and consequently disbanded the outfit.

The Court also directed the police and the DSS to arrest and prosecute anyone found bearing arms in the name of Ebubeagu in the state.

But Orji described the judgement as “a clear case of miscarriage of justice brought about by malaise and sheer misinterpretation of the laws and abuse of Court process.”

According to him, the state government is of the firm belief that the judgement cannot stand the fiery furnace of the higher courts of the land.

He maintained that the establishment of Ebubeagu Security outfit didn’t breach any law contrary to the ruling as ruling of Justice Riman.

Orji said: “We are here to tell the general public that there is no cause for alarm. I said this because having gone through the wordings of the judgement, we saw that that judgement was a clear case of miscarriage of justice brought about by malaise and sheer misinterpretation of the law and abuse of court process. It’s our firm belief that it cannot stand the fiery furnace of the higher courts.

“We have under the provisions of the constitution the opportunities to ventilate our grouse about that judgement up to the Supreme Court.

“But let it be known that as a government, we are law abiding and believe in the provisions of the constitution. We also believe in the separation of powers of the three arms of government, including the powers of the State House of Assembly for the good governance of Ebonyi State.

“Let me say that the Ebonyi State government is alive to its responsibilities, very responsive and responsible. That’s why it believes and strongly holds that the peace, security and welfare of the people are the paramount duties and that’s what the government of His Excellency, Governor David Umahi, has continually discharged and the people are happy.

“In this case of Ebubeagu Security outfit, let it be known that we have gotten nothing in conflict or inconsistent with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in a way and manner Ebubeagu Security outfit was constituted.

“The Federal High Court Judge relied on section 3 and 4 of the constitution that talk about legislative rule and powers of the National Assembly and also relied on the second schedule, which talks about the Exclusive List and particularly made reference to Item 43 which has to do with the Police and security agencies established under the law.

“But we make bold to say that this Item 43 has nothing to do with Ebubeagu and we have done nothing in conflict with the constitution, particularly the Exclusive List. Let me say that having studied the nitty-gritty of that judgement, the legal team of the state government is already on appeal. We are filing a motion for a stay of execution, so, no cause for alarm. The Ebubeagu Security outfit is intact and alive to its duties.”


Also speaking, the State Security Consultant, Stanley Okoro-Emegha, who was part of the press conference, noted that those against Ebubeagu Security outfit were opposition elements that are allegedly the brain behind insecurity in the state.

The Principal Secretary to the Governor, Emmanuel Obasi, on his part, said the establishment of Ebubeagu Security outfit followed all due legal diligence, and the outfit had played a tremendous role in security of lives and property of the residents of the state, and wondered why certain opposition elements had been kicking against its operations.

In a related development, a coalition of NGOs and CSOs led by its leader, Stanley Kamani, has staged protests against the court ruling which disbanded Ebubeagu Security outfit.

The group in their hundreds moved from Pa Ngele Oruta township, Abakaliki, to the old government house where they were addressed by the Principal Secretary to the Governor before they moved to the State House of Assembly and thereafter to the court to express their displeasure over the judgement.

Kamani who spoke on behalf of the group insisted that Ebubeagu Security outfit must be allowed to stay, as according to him, the outfit had assisted in no small measure in providing security to the residents of the state.