TENSION OVER ARREST, REMAND OF DELTA MONARCH, 4 OTHERS
By Emma Amaize
WARRI-There is anxiety in Ekwuoma community in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State, over the arrest and remand in prison of the traditional ruler of the community, King Solomon Offor and four other villagers, for the alleged murder of an indigene and threat to life of a prominent citizen in the town.
Vanguard gathered that trouble started when the traditional ruler in conjunction with the Ekwuoma town union, ordered the promonent citizen to cease from further collection of revenue from trailer drivers at Ekwuoma on the Benin-Asaba Expressway, which he had allegedly been appropriating for about eight years, as the community needed the money to maintain its vigilante groups and for other development purposes.
The prominent citizen, who played a role in the power struggle that brought the monarch to power, reportedly took offence and reported a case of threat to his life against the monarch and others at the Police Zone 5 Command, Benin City, Edo State, a few weeks ago.
The monarch and others were invited to Benin City for questioning, but he was released on self-recognition and directed to report the next day, but on March 8, one of his aides was killed at the Paradise Hotel, Ekwuoma on Benin-Asaba expressway.
It was gathered that the prominent citizen fingered the monarch in the killing, prompting police authorities in Asaba to order his arrest. He was subsequently charged to court and remanded in prison custody.
The arrest of the monarch and other suspects, as well as the report that faction in the crisis had wanted to install another king in the absence of Offor, has meanwhile polarized the community.
Chairman of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, CDHR, Delta State, Mr Benefit Orugbo, who spoke to Vanguard, on the crisis, weekend, said, 'The purported attempt by the prominent citizen to install another person, while the king is still alive is illegal.'