By; :VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
The chiefs and people of Ikot Omin Community in Calabar Municipality Local Government Area of Cross River State, have called on the Commissioner of Police, Hafiz M.Inuwa, to prosecute the suspects arrested recently in connection with the assassination of the village head of Ikot Abenyo community.
It would be recalled that Ntufam Ekong Itu Omin was allegedly murdered on February 26, 2018 in Calabar.
Counsel to the community, Barr. Ayei Okpa, yesterday lauded the police for achieving the feat of arresting the suspected masterminds of the murder but charged the police to with no delay prosecute the suspects in court.
He said that efforts are being made to arrest two other suspects still at large.
According to him “the Ikot Omin people are charging the state police command and government of Cross River state to seize the momentum of the arrest and do justice to the community.
He alleged that those arrested may also be connected with series of assassinations that the Calabar metropolis had witnessed in recent time.
Okpa while lamenting on the issue said,”Ikot Omin community has for some time now been held down by “this evil group”.
He therefore urge the Cross River state government and the police authority to thoroughly investigate the roles played by one community leader, Chief Asuquo Ekpenyong and one of the community youth leader Mr. Edim Edim in the murder of the late village head.
Okpa said, ”now that some of the suspects have started making useful statements to the police and even confessed the roles played, the police should investigate further the connection between the evidence sought to be given in court by Ntufam Omin on Tuesday February 27,2018 against Chief Asuquo Ekpeyong.
Counsel to the aggrieved community however maintained that the traditional ruler was murdered by assailants as he was scheduled to report at the office of the Inspector General of police IGP monitoring squad Abuja on February 28, 2018 to testify in an on-going investigation over an alleged case of forgery of certificate of recognition he reported against one of his kinsmen, one Chief Asuquo Ekpeyong.
“He was in IGP’s office on the 20th ,21, and 22nd over the said investigations and returned to Calabar on the 23rd February 2018 and was murdered in a bizarre and most cruel circumstance on February 26, just two day when he was supposed to return to the IGP’s office to provide additional evidence in the forgery investigation.
The community, he said , wants justice and peace to reign in the community but urged the police to also investigate the involvement of the suspects now under their custody in the 2017 assassination of the then clan secretary Chief Omin Omin and the assassination attempt on the life of prince Edim Omin Edim last year in a similar circumstance .
He said that “it is instructive that since the arrest of the suspects and the going into hiding of their collaborators, peace that has since eluded the community, has gradually returned to the community”.
He said, “while from the confession volunteered by a key suspect in the aforesaid murders, it has now been made public that certain sums of money exchanged hands.
However, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Irene Ugbo,who reacted to allegations that the police was not doing nothing on the matter said “why would any one think that the police had been putting a lukewarm attitude towards an issue which involves death”.