Alleged assault: Rights group demands probe of community leader

Alleged assault: Rights group demands probe of community leader

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 9:20 am

Benin Monarch, Oba Ewuare ll

By Jethro Ibileke
A civil rights group under the aegis of Edo Civil Society Organizations (EDOCSO), has called for the arrest and prosecution of Iyowa community youth leader, Etinosa Ighodaro, for allegedly masterminding an assault on one of its members, Aimuamwonsa Igbinomwanhia.

The group also accused Ighodaro of tacitly engaging in Community Development Association with(CDA), which has been proscribed by the state government and also forbidden by the Benin Monarch, Oba Ewuare ll.

Coordinator-General of EDOCSO, Leftist Omobude Agho, made the call on Tuesday in Benin, while briefing journalists on what led to the attack on his member.

According to Agho, Iguikhimwin community wrote a petition to his group seeking for help to resolve a lingering boundary crisis with Iyowa community, to prevent it from leading to a bloody clash.

According to Agho, “After informing the commissioner for local government and community affairs, Mr. Monday Osaigbovo, a meeting was organised with a view to broker peace between the two communities,

“It was agreed that representatives of the two communities, the commissioner and members of EDOCSO are to go back to the area under dispute and map out the extent of encroachment and other on-the-spot findings for further action.

“But unfortunately, in one of the meetings, Ighodaro and his men unleashed mayhem with dangerous weapons on some members of the other community and one of our members.

“All parties were present. No sooner than the aforementioned representatives converge on the disputed area with the representative of the commissioner who was unavoidably absent, Etinosa Ighodaro who is the youth leader (Okaighele) of Iyowa community and his thugs started to unleash mayhem on Iguikhimwin community members and human rights members, present with sporadic gunshot from assorted calibre weapons and the use of other dangerous weapons.”

Agho further alleged that his member and three members of Iguikhimwin community were forcefully abducted and whisked to unknown destination, where they were assaulted.

He however said that his member miraculously escaped from his abductors, but with life-threatening injuries which he has been treating.

The civil rights activist called for the investigation and prosecution of Ighodaro and his armed thugs for alleged possession of firearms, even as he appealed to the Benin Monarch to probe activities of Ighodaro, and also order the constitution of a leadership of the community, that will comprise Odionwere and elders’ council.

When contacted on phone for reaction, Ighodaro denied masterminding an attack or sending thugs to unleash mayhem on the said victims.

“I am not a party to that. I am a peace-loving person, and I cannot do that. Anyone involved in such act should be arrested and prosecuted. I am not a party to that which you are saying,” Ighodaro said.


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