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Key Development in Ewu Kingdom Tragedy: Traditional Ruler Handed Over to Senator for Investigation Support

The Nigerian Army (NA) has taken a significant step in the ongoing investigation into the tragic incident involving the loss of 17 soldiers in Ewu Kingdom, located in the Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State. On Friday, the revered Traditional Ruler of Ewu Kingdom, Clement Ikolo, was formally handed over to Senator Ede Dafinone, who represents Delta Central, under specific conditions to aid the continuation of the investigation.

Major General Onyema Nwachukwu, the Director of Army Public Relations, emphasized that while no direct culpability has been established against the traditional ruler, it’s premature to absolve anyone of involvement at this stage. Despite this, the NA has decided to release the monarch to Senator Dafinone, who has agreed to serve as a surety. This decision comes after the monarch voluntarily presented himself for questioning and Senator Dafinone intervened on his behalf.

General Nwachukwu stated, “Since his voluntary surrender, the Nigerian Army has carefully reviewed all available information surrounding the incident. While definitive culpability remains unclear, Senator Dafinone’s intervention and his endorsement of the monarch’s character have influenced our decision to release him.”

Senator Dafinone, expressing gratitude for the military’s professionalism, assured continued cooperation with the investigation. He pledged to make the monarch available to the military whenever required for further questioning.

In response, the traditional ruler conveyed appreciation to his supporters, including the military, members of the National Assembly, the Delta State Government, fellow traditional rulers from Delta, and his family, for their unwavering support during this challenging period. He also emphasized the importance of holding those responsible for the heinous crime accountable.

The incident, which occurred on March 14, 2024, saw 17 NA personnel lose their lives while attempting to mediate peace between Okoloba and Okuama communities. In the aftermath, the military intensified efforts to locate and apprehend the perpetrators, declaring eight suspects wanted. HRH Clement Ikolo Oghenerukvwe voluntarily surrendered himself to the Delta State Police Command, who subsequently handed him over to the NA for questioning, given the incident’s occurrence within his jurisdiction

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