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PDP faults Ebonyi govt on declaration of ex-Reps member wanted

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The Ebonyi chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has faulted the state government’s declaration of Mr Linus Okorie, a former member of the House of Representatives wanted.

Chief Tochukwu Okorie, PDP state chairman, at a press conference on Wednesday, in Abakaliki said the 1999 Constitution as amended did not confer on state governments or their governors powers to declare any Nigerian citizen wanted.

He said the Constitution is clear on the procedure or process involved in declaration of any citizen wanted.

According to him, Ebonyi government exceeded the limits granted to it by the Constitution by declaring Okorie, a senior member of the party and former member of the House of Representatives wanted.

The party therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari and Inspector General of Police, Mr Usman Alkali to intervene to avert total breakdown of law and order in Ebonyi.

He said: “The governor in a flagrant abuse of power and in negation of the provisions of the Constitution has declared Mr Linus Okorie, a prominent Nigerian and chieftain of our party wanted.

“This, again, is an eloquent pointer to the grave danger Ebonyi and Ebonyi people face; the Nigerian Constitution and the criminal justice system clearly outlined procedure for declaring an accused wanted.

“There is no where in any laws of Nigeria or any place that state that government or its officials are given such powers.

“This particular declaration as announced by Mr Uchenna Orji, Commissioner for Information is a ploy to have Okorie murdered in the pretext that he is evading arrest.

“We want the world to know that should anything happen to Okorie, that it’s premeditated, organised and orchestrated by government.”

The party further alleged that the Ebubeagu security outfit had been unleashed on the former Federal lawmaker and his associates.

“We further call on Mr president, National Assembly and the international community to intervene and halt imminent breakdown of constitutional democracy in Ebonyi,” Okorie said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the former lawmaker is wanted by Ebonyi government for allegedly breaching the state’s Cyber crime law over a purported inciting facebook publication.

NAN reports that the cybercrime law was passed by the state House of Assembly and assented to by Gov. Dave Umahi in 2021.

The law seeks to moderate information dished out through social media platforms and to guard against fake news and hate speech.

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