There was panic and apprehension in Ebonyi State on Saturday as 55 suspected warlords arrested in connection with the escalating intra-communal war in Effium Community in Ohaukwu Local Government Area allegedly escaped from the police custody.
Sunday Sun gathered that the suspected warlords were arrested at Okpuduma village of the community with arms and charms during the raid of the area by General Officer Commanding 82 Division of the Nigeria Army, Major General Taoreen Lagbaja; state Commissioner of Police, Aliyu Garba; state Deputy Governor, Dr. Kelechi Igwe; and state Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace, Stanley Okoro Emegha, among other government officials.
After the arrest of the suspects and recovery of the arms and charms, the GOC and the team proceeded to Nwekendiagu village in the community for the same operation, while the suspects were handed over to the police by the GOC for movement to police headquarters, Abakaliki for further investigation.
But immediately the team left the community, information filtered in that 55 out the 66 suspects have escaped from custody, with their whereabouts unknown.
Speaking on the escape of the suspects, Emegha described it as sabotage on the part of security agencies.
He accused the security agents of aiding their escape and threatened that the government would be forced to use the state vigilante to end the persistent hostilities in the community.
When contacted, Garba dismissed the claim that there was compromise on the part of the police.
He acknowledged that the arrested 66 suspects are no longer complete, but refused to comment further on their escape.