16th May, 2019
The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Ebonyi branch has called on the police to investigate and prosecute Vehicles Inspection Officers(VIOs) who allegedly killed Chief Geoffrey Mgbada, Secretary, Ebonyi Elders Council on Tuesday in Abakaliki.
The CDHR made the demand via a statement issued by its State Secretary, Mr Jeremiah Onyibe,and made available to newsmen in Abakaliki on Wednesday.
CDHR which condemned in strongest term the extra-judicial killing of Mgbada by the VIOs also called for mental and psychiatric tests and evaluation of all officers of the Ebonyi VIOs to forestall recurrence.
The killer VIOs were arrested and currently undergoing interrogation at the Ebonyi Police Headquarters, Abakaliki.
The statement reads in part: “It is really unfortunate that men who are paid from the taxpayers’ money to inspect vehicles on our roads in order to ensure their road worthiness and thereby reduce the level of road accidents have turned back to be our killers.
“The killing of one of the elder statesmen in Ebonyi has brought into reality the horror that common people are subjected to in the hands of these men every day.
“It will be unfair to her citizens for the Government of Ebonyi to claim ignorance of the notorious activities of the vehicles inspection officers which it earlier prescribed after their activities that led to the death of some tanker drivers in Speri-Indeo junction, Abakaliki.
“The right to live is inalienable right of every man and no man no matter your position or office has the right to take another man’s live.
“While we condemn in no small measure the inglorious and unholy act of the virus, we call on the Ebonyi Government and police authority to unravel the cause of the death and immediately prosecute those that are involved,’’
Onyibe recalled that Mgbada was killed on the early hours of Tuesday, May 14, along Presco-Ezza Road, Abakaliki, when he was chased by one of the VIO officials when they stopped his vehicle.
“He was still having an argument with one of the officials on why they should stop his vehicle, when suddenly he was violently pushed by the official without his knowledge and he fell, hitting his head on concrete road pavement and died instantly.
“He died in the presence of his wife and children.”
Meanwhile, Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi in a statement on Tuesday, May 14 signed by Mr Emma Uzo, his Chief Press Secretary condemned the killing of Mgbada.
He described the killing as unfortunate and barbaric and urged police to ensure that perpetrators were brought to justice.
The deceased was the Secretary of the Ebonyi Elders Council and former member of the Abakaliki Capital Territory Development Board, NAN reports.