Ebonyi State Governor and Chairman of South-East Governors’ Forum, on Friday, bowed to pressure, agreeing that the South-East security outfit, code-named Ebubeagu, will no longer function in the state.
This was as the governor disclosed that a legal framework, already before the Ebonyi House of Assembly for the establishment of two local security outfits, has been passed into law, to replace the disbanded Ebubeagu in the state.
Recall a Federal High Court, sitting in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital had, on Tuesday, disbanded the Ebubeagu security outfit in the state.
The disbandment, according to PUNCH Metro investigations, was a consequence of several alleged human rights abuses, extortions, illegal arrests and use of firearms by the security outfit.
Umahi announced the establishment of the two local security outfits, during an Enlarged Security Meeting/ Live Broadcast, in Abakaliki, on Friday.
According to him, “On the issue of Ebubeagu, I have directed that Ebubeagu will not function in the state until the Stay of Execution is granted and appeal is entered, this is in obedience to the rule of law and respect for our judiciary which I have great respect for, whether the judgement is good for our people or bad, it is the judgement of the Court.
“However, it must be noted that just about a month ago, another court of equal jurisdiction had passed a judgement restraining anybody from disbanding Ebubeagu, what it means is that I have two judgements on the same subject and I could choose the one to obey if I were not a lover of the judiciary, however, I have decided to obey the later judgement that says that Ebubeagu should not function.
“So, for now, Ebubeagu should not function while we process the Stay of Execution and appeal entered at Enugu and Ebubeagu when granted will begin to function again, however, let me thank the House of Assembly for passing into law another two sets of vigilante outfits for Ebonyi State whose process started in 2021 but they graciously passed it a few days ago and that is Ebonyi State Neighbourhood Watch.
“Let me say that we have had this Neighbourhood Watch even before now as far back as 2015 and they did tremendously very well so the law is back and they are empowered to function.”