HomeNewsArmy Frees King Ikolo Detained Over 17 Soldiers Slain In Okuama, Delta

Army Frees King Ikolo Detained Over 17 Soldiers Slain In Okuama, Delta

The Nigerian Army has released Clement Ikolo Ogenerukevwe, the monarch of Ewu Kingdom, declared wanted over the killing of 17 military personnel in Okuama, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State.

After being declared wanted over the March 14, 2024 killings in Okuama community, the monarch turned over himself to the police, who in turn handed him to the Army.

Army Spokesman, Major-General Onyema Nwachukwu, on Friday, specifically said they decided to release the monarch after the intervention of highly-placed Nigerians and painstaking review.

While handing over him to the legislator representing Delta Central, Senator Ede Dafianone, during a briefing at the Army Headquarters, Nwachukwu said the lawmaker testified to the decent character of the monarch.

Following the killing of the four officers and 13 lower-rankers, the military declared wanted: Arthur Ekpekpo, Andaowei Dennis Bakriri, Akevwru Daniel Omotegbono (a.k.a Amagbem), Akata Malawa David, Sinclear Oliki, Clement Ikolo Ogenerukevwe, Reuben Baru, and a woman Ms Igoli Ebi.

The murdered soldiers were reportedly on a peace mission between two mutually hostile Okuama and Okoloba communities, when they were ambushed and killed by yet-to-be-identified gunmen.

The monarch’s families and friends had alleged that they did not know his whereabouts for about a month since the military detained him.

A statement by the Secretary of the Ewu-Urhobo Traditional Council of Chiefs, Abizor Henry, explained that despite efforts by the monarch’s lawyer to have the family members have access to him, it was not granted.

“Shockingly, efforts made by the Traditional Council of Chiefs of Ewu-Urhobo Kingdom, family members, and friends of the monarch in Nigeria and abroad to reach him have been abortive, leaving people wondering why someone who voluntarily surrendered himself to the security forces and has been commended by the Chief of Defence Staff for doing such an honourable thing, has not been allowed to see or talk to his subjects, family members or friends,” the statement partly read.

Dafinone commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Chief of Defence Staff, and the Chief of Army Staff “for their instrumental roles in securing” Ikolo’s release.

Following the monarch’s detention, Dafinone, in collaboration with his colleagues, Senators Ned Nwoko (Delta North) and Joel Onowakpo-Thomas (Delta South), took up the matter with the military high command.

Dafinone, in a personally signed statement declared, “Today, I commend the swift and decisive actions taken by President Bola Tinubu and the Chief of Defence Staff in addressing this matter with the urgency and seriousness it deserved.

“The release of His Royal Majesty, King Clement Ikolo, Urhukpe 1, brings a sense of relief and reassurance to our community. I am deeply grateful to Mr President, Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Christopher Musa, Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja and the entire military leadership for their unwavering commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring the safety and well-being of all citizens.”

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