Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has suspended the operations of the Ebubeagu Security Outfit, in deference to a Federal High Court ruling, which declared the security outfit as illegal. In its place, Mr Umahi announced the setting up of two new vigilance outfits – Ebonyi Neighbourhood Watch and Ebonyi Vigilante Corps.
A Federal High Court in Abakaliki recently disbanded the Ebubeagu Security Outfit, after ruling that its existence and operations in Ebonyi State was illegal. Ebubeagu have been allegedly involved in illegal arrests, torture and extra-judicial killings. The Ebonyi State Government through the Commissioner for Information, Uchenna Orji, said it would appeal the court ruling.
“The Ebubeagu security outfit will not function in the state until the stay of execution is granted and appeal entered. “This is in obedience to the rule of law; and whether it is good or bad for our people, it is the court’s judgement,” Mr Umahi said on Friday at an enlarged security meeting in the state.
The governor recalled that a judgment from a court of equal jurisdiction had restrained anyone from disbanding the Ebubeagu security outfit a month ago. “This means that I have two judgements on the same subject matter, as such the second one shouldn’t have been entertained due to an earlier decision on it.
“I could have chosen which one to obey if I were not a lover of the judiciary, but have chosen to obey the latter. “When the stay of execution is granted, Ebubeagu will function again,” the governor said. He thanked the Ebonyi House of Assembly for passing the law establishing the two vigilante groups which he said the processes began in 2021. “When Ebubeagu returns, they all should not infringe on the rights of the citizens. “None of them would be involved in the forthcoming general election and the public must note this,” the governor said.