Anxiety in Ebony over relocation of Boko Haram prisoners to Abakaliki
What was joy for the people of Anambra State for a while became a source sorrow for the people of Ebony State.
While the people of Anambra were celebrating the relocation of the dreaded Boko Haram inmates from Ekwulobia prisons, there was panic in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital.
Reason: rumour that Boko Haram prisoners from Ekwulobia, Anambra State had been relocated to Abakaliki prisons.
The Sun reports that Ebonyi residents woke up with great fears when news of alleged relocation of the 47 Boko Haram suspects filtered into town. Though Governor Dave Umahi swiftly dispelled the rumour, Abakaliki residents were already spoiling for protest.
The governor was quoted as saying in that report, “I received a text message shortly after I returned to Abakaliki from my trip to Israel that Boko Haram suspects previously relocated to Ekwulobia Prison in Anambra State have been relocated to Abakaliki Prison.
“Immediately I got the text massage, I made some calls and I can tell you authoritatively that Boko Haram suspects were not relocated to Abakaliki and there are no plans for such relocation. Ebonyi State is not yet ripe to accommodate such high caliber of prison inmates”.
It was further gathered that the alleged relocation of the Boko Haram suspects from Ekwulobia Prisons in Anambra state to an undisclosed destination in the country may have triggered the suspicion that the dreaded sect members may have been transfered to Abakaliki prison.
Recall that there were about 134 inmates at the Ekwulobia prison before the 47 Boko Haram prisoners were brought in the night of Sunday, June 28, 2015 amidst tight security.
A reliable source revealed that the suspects had arrived the Abakaliki prisons last night in four trucks heavily guarded by security operatives mainly soldiers.
The Ebonyi state Police Commissioner, Peace Ibekwe Abdallah stated that she was not aware of the arrival of Boko Haram suspects in the state insisting that nobody has briefed her regarding the arrival of the suspects
Reacting to the development, the Public Relations Officer of Abakaliki prisons, Mr. Frank also stated that he was not aware of the arrival of Boko Haram suspects to the prison.
“I am not aware of Boko Haram suspects being brought to the prisons. If they are on their way, I don't know”, he added.
Meanwhile, Governor Willie Obiano has confirmed that the 47 Boko Haram suspects detained in the Ekwulobia Prisons in Anambra State have been relocated out of the South-East.
The governor's confirmation yesterday ended the five months of hue and cry over the presence of the suspects in Ekwulobia Prisons.
Obiano thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for listening to the clamour of the people of Anambra and the South-East for the suspects to be moved out from the state.
Saturday Sun reliably gathered that the suspected insurgents were taken away from the Ekwulobia Prisons on Thursday night when nobody expected their sudden exit amid tight security.
“No reason was given for their removal neither was their destination made public,” he source said.
Since their arrival in the prison on June 28, this year, there has been tension and even demonstration among individuals and groups in Anambra State, calling for their removal to areas where they had allegedly committed the offence for which they were arrested.
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