Niger Delta rights activists, Comrade Daniel Ezekiel have called on the Inspector-General of Police to urgently release the detained Obaseki’s aide, Hon. Godstime Ogidigba to avoid heating the polity of Edo State.
This was contained in a press statement signed by himself and sent to Congress correspondent in Edo State on Friday.
He again, appealed to the IGP to constitute a proper investigative team and invites all parties involved to Abuja for proper investigation.
The activist Ezekiel had allegedly accused a militant leader Robert and one Pepe from the Inikorogha community to have masterminded the arrest.
He argued that the petition which led to the arrest of Obaseki’s aide Godstime was concocted and full of lies from the pit of hell, adding that the accused person only went to the Inikorogha community to check compliance with the state government’s directive of disbanding vigilante activities in the community when Okubor and his boy’s fired at them.
Ezekiel added that he had personally sent several petitions to the police authorities involving brutal killings and other related crimes perpetrated by Okubor and his boys, noting that the police are yet to act.
He emphasized that arresting someone who was assisting the security operatives to protect the lives of residents in the community may discourage others who are given voluntary support to security operatives in the area.
While expressing dismay, Ezekiel alleged: “On the 05/03/2019, Okubo, Pepe Robert, Benson, Pereke, Ebiye, Ibas, Kalayolo, Kenneth, Lucky and others attacked Toke and her husband, China and chased them out of the Inikorogha community.
According to him, “On the 10/12/2020, Pepe Okubo brutally shot China Samuel to the point that up to this moment, the boy has not been able to walk with the leg.
Again, he alleged, “On 15/05/ 2021 Felix Gbale brutally shot at Inikorogha by Robert Okubo and his criminal gang.
4, 22/06/2022, Favour Oma Arigba’s house was destroyed, and he and his family were chased out of Inikorogha by Robert Okubo and his criminal gang. On the same night, illegal logs seized by Edo state Taskforce tied to marine police jetty at Gelegele were scattered by Okubor boys acting on his directive.
Besides, on 28/7/2021, Amakosuwei,( the head of the Inikorogha community) was thoroughly embarrassed, and the new executive committee he put in place to run the affairs of the community was attacked by Robert Okubo and his criminal gang.
“In the same vein, on 04/03/2022, due to the level of criminalities in Inikorogha that spreads to other communities, Governor Godwin Obaseki visited Inikorogha when Robert, Pepe and their criminal gang ran into hiding when they heard of the Governor’s coming. The Governor saw massive illegal logging, bunkering and dredging being perpetrated by Robert and his criminal gang. After listening to the complaints of the oppressed people of the community, and how vigilante members are aiding and abetting crime in the community, he directed the immediate disbandment of the vigilante group.
The advocate further narrated, “On the 15/03/2022, Ebi Gable after the burial of his grandmother in Benin City, left for Inikorogha as Ijaw tradition demands. On his arrival, Pepe, Robert Okubo and their criminal gang numbering 40 ambushed him, sat him on the ground, beat the hell out of him and warned him not to enter the community again because if he does, they will kill him.
He stressed, “On the 22/03/2022, after two weeks of Governor’s directive for vigilante at Inikorogha to be disbandment, we found out that the vigilantes are still parading in default of the Obaseki’s directive, rather one of Robert Okubo criminal boys, known as Kenneth was still leading the vigilante on lawlessness.
Godstime Ogidigba being a Senior Special Assistant to Governor Obaseki on waterways and surveillance, decided to go on patrol to Inikorogha and other riverine communities, as part of his official assignment.
On his way with his waterways and surveillance team, Pepe, Robert and their criminal gang fell heavy timbers to block the road and began to shoot at him ( Godstime) and his boys.
“While shooting, they hide in the bush but in the process, one of them, Henry Japhet was about running away, when he was caught and brought to Igbobazuwa police division in the state, where he made a confessional statement. From there, he was transferred to the State police command, Benin City, where he again mentioned Robert Okubo boys who were behind the shooting.
He further maintained, “On the 05/04/2022, again Favour Oma Arigba whose house was destroyed last year and his family chased out of the community was thoroughly beaten up by these criminals, while Pepe, in particular, stabbed the young man with a bottle. This is a boy that Governor Obaseki openly announced that nobody should touch after hearing his ordeal on his visitation to Inikorogha.
So it was shocking to hear that Godstime is the one being accused of shooting.”
However, attempt to reach the Edo state PPRO, Kantoong Bello for comment proved abortive as he couldn’t respond to calls put across to him.