Published On: Sat, Apr 20th, 2024

Okuama Killings: Army Releases Detained Urhobo Monarch  On Intervention Of Dafinone


LAGOS APRIL 19TH (URHOBOTODAY)-The Nigerian Army has released Delta traditional ruler, HRH Clement Ikolo earlier declared wanted for the gruesome murder of 17 soldiers in Delta State on March 14, 2024.

The traditional ruler was declared wanted by the Defence Headquarters alongside seven others for alleged involvement.

He was released to the senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District at the 10th National Assembly, Senator Ede Dafianone who stood surety.

The monarch was released on Friday during a briefing at Army Headquarters by the director, Army Public Relations, Major General Onyema Nwachukwu who said the traditional ruler was declared wanted because the act took place in his kingdom.

Upon being declared wanted, he subsequently surrendered to the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) on March 28, 2024.

His was released after three weeks in custody of the military.

General Nwachukwu said since the monarch’s surrender, “the Nigerian Army has painstakingly reviewed every available information on the incident and has come to some preliminary observations and inferences, one of which is that, while culpability has not been conclusively established against the traditional ruler, there is insufficient evidence, to exonerate anyone at this stage.

“Nevertheless, on the intervention of Senator Dafinone, representing Delta South, and his vouching for the monarch’s character, and the fact that the monarch voluntarily turned himself in, for questioning, it has been decided that His Highness be released to the distinguished Senator, who has agreed to act as surety for his release on the condition that he will always assist the NA and other agencies of government investigating the Okuama killing incident to have access to the monarch whenever needed.

“The NA hereby releases the HRH Clement Ikolo Oghenerukvwe the king of Ewu kingdom to Distinguished Senator Dafinone representing Delta South as a responsible national political figure.”

Nwachukwu emphasized that the traditional rulers release demonstrates the Nigerian Army’s commitment to upholding the rule of law and justice.

He encouraged others to make themselves available for questioning and assured that “they are guaranteed fair and decent treatment and will be strictly subjected to constitutional provisions for handling such cases if found culpable.”

In his remarks, the traditional ruler said contrary to public perception, he was not subjected to inhumane treatment.

Ikolo said the military personnel treated him with utmost respect to his human rights and pledged to help bring perpetrators to book.

He thanked, family, friends and senators from his state who intervened on his behalf.

In his remarks, Senator Dafianone corroborated that the traditional ruler was treated in the most professional manner by the military personnel while in custody.

Meanwhile, the vice chairman, Senate Committee on Defence, Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, has said that it is his earnest desire to see that peace returns to the troubled Okuama community, Ughelli south local government area and others affected as a result of the killing of 17 officers and soldiers in Delta State.

This may not be unconnected to the release of the Ovie of Ewu-Urhobo Kingdom, His Royal Majesty Clement Ikolo, Urhukpe 1 on Friday by the Nigerian Defence headquarters.

Senator Joel-Onowakpo, representing Delta South, made the disclosure while fielding questions from journalists in Warri on the reason himself and two other senators from Delta State, Senator Ned Nwoko and Senate Ede Dafinone, visited the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Gwabin Musa at the Defence headquarters, Abuja, days ago.

He said that they were at the Defence Headquarters to appeal for the release of the detained traditional ruler of Ewu-Urhobo kingdom.

Senator Joel-Onowakpo stated that apart from appealing for the release of the monarch during the visit, other issues relating to how peace would be restored for the return of members of the community who fled in the wake of the incident were also discussed.

He added that they were saddened by the killing of the soldiers in Okuama community, noting that the incident no doubt has truncated the peace in the community and the state in general, hence the need for all stakeholders to work expediently towards ensuring that peace return to the area.


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