Ngige: AIG Ige fired — He should be tried for treason, says Ngige

Posted by By Charles Ozoemena & Anayo Okoli on 2003/07/15 | Views: 1221 |

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Ngige: AIG Ige fired — He should be tried for treason, says Ngige

ABUJA — ASSISTANT Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Raphael Ige who led the police team that abducted Gov. Chris Ngige of Anambra State, Thursday, was yesterday given the boot.

ABUJA — ASSISTANT Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Raphael Ige who led the police team that abducted Gov. Chris Ngige of Anambra State, Thursday, was yesterday given the boot.

Mr. Ige, who was originally due for retirement next month, was sent on compulsory retirement following the approval of President Olusegun Obasanjo. But for Gov Ngige, the punishment is not strong enough. Mr. Ige, he insisted yesterday, must be tried for treason with others who took part in the anarchy.

Spokesperson for President Obasanjo, Mrs Remi Oyo, in a brief statement yesterday said the President "has approved the compulsory retirement of the AIG of Police Zone 9, Mr. Raphael Ige. Mr. Ige’s retirement is with effect from Monday, July 14, 2003.

The president was in Maputo, Mozambique when the governor was abducted. On his return, however, he ordered a full investigation into the matter. And, reacting to the AIG’s retirement, Gov Ngige said he (the AIG) should rather face treason charges. The governor who spoke through his Special Assistant (Media), Mr. Fred Chukwuelobe, said the retirement "falls short of people’s expectation," because, as he put it, the abduction was "a serious constitutional matter and should be treated as such.

"If the perpetrators of the despicable act are not punished, it would send a strong signal to others waiting in the wings that they could wake up one day and sack a duly elected government. The retirement of the AIG was meant to confuse Nigerians as to the real motive of the sponsors of the abduction."

Meanwhile, Chuma Nzeribe, member representing Ihiala Federal Constituency alleged to have been one of those who planned Ngige’s abduction reportedly escaped being lynched yesterday when he attempted to join the Senator Arthur Nzeribe-led National Assembly delegation to Awka. His mobile phones were said to have been smashed but he escaped.

Meanwhile, Mr. Emeka Asoanya, the leader of traders in the state, has said that all the markets would be closed today to receive the 35 governors expected in Awka, an action the CLO in the state condemned as illegal, saying that the traders have no power to close their markets. CLO warned Asoanya not to drag traders into the politics of the state, saying: "After all, their mandate was trampled upon."

The 35 governors are expected in Awka to pay a solidarity visit to Ngige.

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