There was wild jubilation in Ebonyi state Tuesday as news of the Federal High Court disbanding the dreaded Ebubeagu outfit spread. The court said the private police unit have done more harm than good in dealing with political opponents of government.
Commenting on the judgement, residents said it is timely as Ebubeagu has become a monster outfit inflicting untold hardship on the masses through illegal arrests and abduction, torture, frame ups and various anti human rights activities. Residents said they live in constant fear of harassment especially if one belongs to a different political party other than the ruling All Progressives Congress APC.
Many have also expressed their concern over the Governor Dave Umahi militia outfit as the 2023 elections draw close, petitioning the police high command.
Consequently, leading opposition figures have maintained that the militia agency was set up to witch hunt them and also to make life difficult for ordinary citizens.
The Human Rights Writers Association HURIWA recently addressed a World Press Conference on the issue, drawing attention to the ills of the outfit.
Specifically, HURIWA had accused the erstwhile police commissioner Garba Aliyu of colluding with Ebubeagu to unleash a regime of dehumanisation.
Aliyu has since been redeployed.
In defence of Ebubeagu, the state’s helmsman Dave Umahi said in a recent interview that the outfit was set up to deal with criminality. He lamented the barrage of attack on the outfit by opposition figures He furthered countered that the good deeds attributed to the group far out weigh what the critics were saying. He said the Governorship Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party PDP, Dr. Ifeanyi Odii, goes about with a retinue of security personnel.
But a source at the PDP campaign said Umahi was lying about the attacks on Ebubeagu, stressing that, on the contrary, it was the outfit that was attacking and maiming people. According to him Umahi was only crying wolf to distract from the various investigations by authorities.
He stated further that Verdict of the court in Abakaliki was one of the best thing to have happened to the state.