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In Ebonyi, confusion trails jailed Catholic Priest’s bail



WORRIED by the continued detention of the jailed Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr. Timothy Ngwuta, the Diocese of Abakaliki in Ebonyi State has disagreed over alleged Executive Order barring any court from entertaining matters relating to the crises in Effium, Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state.

 The church, through its chancellor, Fr. Mathew Opoke said that the executive order has made it impossible for the diocese to secure the release of its member, Fr. Timothy Ngwuta, arrested and jailed for alleged promotion of violence in Effium and Ezza, communal war.

  This claim was however, dismissed by the Commissioner for Justice, Chief Festus Ofoke, stressing that the executive cannot interfere with matters before the court.

 According to Fr. Opoke, the Catholic Church condemns the act of violence, incitement of violence, wars, kidnapping, arson or any act of criminality and will not shield anyone involved in such dastardly act.

 “We urged the security agencies to do thorough investigation as the priest has stated before his bishop that the accusation is entirely false as he cannot be punished for the offence he knows nothing about.

  “Our efforts to secure his bail have been hampered by the Executive Order preventing any court in the state from entertaining any matter pertaining to the Effurum”.

  The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Cletus Ofoke insisted that the submission of the Church is untrue; stressing that there was nothing like Executive Order on the Effium crises.

 “The government can never issue an order stopping a court from doing its legitimate duty”.

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