Cross River Assembly Leader, 5 Others Arrested For Alleged Sponsorship Of Communal Violence

By Ubong Ubong, Calabar

It was a case of the hunter becoming the hunted in Cross River State last Wednesday when the Leader of the state House of Assembly, Mr Moses Abeng  Onor, and five other members of Oyadama community were arrested by the police in connection with the killings and devastation of their neighbouring community, Inyama. The alleged killing and devastation took place penultimate Sunday.

Onor, who represents Obubra II comprising Osopon I and II in the Cross River State House of Assembly was arrested along with the community leader, Felix, the youth leader and the clan head of Oyadama following a petition by the people of Inyima which claimed they were brains behind the invasion and destruction  of their community .

The Assembly Leader who is being detained at the Cross River State Police Headquarters, Diamond Hill, Calabar, according to the Inyama’s petition, is alleged to have sponsored the conflict and should therefore be held responsible for the havoc committed.

“From available evidence, Hon Onor was aware of the impending attack on us and had the capacity to stop it, at least by virtue of his political position as the member representing Obubra II but he did not,” the Inyama leaders claimed in the petition.

Mr. Rekpene Bassey, the State Security Adviser, could not be reached on phone but DSP John Umoh, spokesman of the Cross River State Police Command said the arrest of Onor and others was to let the police get into the root of the constant conflict in the area and “the attendant killings which have become really worrisome have to stop. So, we may not release those arrested in a hurry.”

It would be recalled that on Sunday,  June 2, 2013, the village of Oyadama descended on their Inyima neighbours and destroyed over 50 residential houses including schools, health centres and churches with over five persons burnt inside their homes following dispute over the ownership of a parcel of land along their common border.

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