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Soldiers killing: Troops raid Edwin Clark’s home




Troops in five trucks and flying drones, on Tuesday, raided the Kiagbodo country home of South-South leader and former Federal Commissioner for Information, Chief Edwin Clark, in search of arms.

According to Clark, who is the Leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, the armed soldiers, numbering between 30 and 40, stormed his home on Saturday, March 23, 2024, and used their legs to break open all the doors in the compound, including the security door to his sitting room which was locked because he resides in Abuja.

This was contained in a statement personally signed by Clark from his Asokoro residence in Abuja on Tuesday, copies of which were made available to journalists in Warri, Delta State.

The raid comes about two weeks after hoodlums killed 17 soldiers who were on a peacekeeping mission to Okuama, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta.

The military had been combing Delta communities as well as the neighbouring Bayelsa State for the killer of the soldiers.

The Delta State Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, had warned monarchs in the state against protecting or giving cover to the killers.

In his statement on Tuesday, Clark called for a Commission of Inquiry into the killings of the 17 officers and soldiers of the 181 Amphibious Battalion.

Narrating the military raid on his home, Clark said, “At about 6 pm on Saturday, 23rd March 2024, I got a telephone call from someone who identified himself as the Commanding Officer of the Nigerian Army, Division in Port Harcourt. He said that a tracker of the Nigerian Army had tracked one Mr. Vote, the community Chairman of Okuoma Community, whom the Army was looking for in respect of the killings of the 17 men of the Nigerian Army, to a house in Ughelli; and that the military men had broken into the house, ransacked it, before they were informed that the house belongs to me, that he was very sorry and apologising to me on behalf of the Army.

“In my usual way and as a leader, who is expected to condone as much as possible, I accepted his apology wholeheartedly but told him that I do not own a house in Ughelli, that the house he is referring to, could be my father’s.

“I went on to sympathise with the Nigerian Army over the gruesome murder of the soldiers, an action I had condemned severally the moment I heard of it in the news.

“I assured him that we would all work within our powers to avail the security agencies with any available information that would unravel the whole thing and bring the perpetrators to book. We ended the discussion on a cordial note.

“It was not long after that, I was inundated with calls from my home, Kiagbodo, telling me how the army had invaded my country home by land and by air. (I was told) that they came in about five trucks loaded with armed soldiers, numbering between 30 and 40. Those in my house used their legs to break open all the doors in the compound, including the security door to my sitting room, which was locked because I reside in Abuja, at the same time, flying their drone within the premises.

“Some of them went to the buildings behind the main house and also broke all the doors that were locked. They marched out my staff living in those buildings, including lecturers at the university; and made them sit on bare ground. They also broke into my late brother, Ambassador Akporode Blessing Clark’s house; a man who served this country internationally in various capacities, including as Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as both of us share the same premises.

“They brought out his son almost naked, as the young man was taking a bath when they stormed the house. All their phones were seized. The people had to identify themselves, and told them whose house it was before they asked for my telephone number, which they said they would pass to their ‘oga’, before they all departed.

“One would have expected that at this juncture, a call could have been put to the Governor of Delta State, to inform him of what happened.

“I immediately called back the Commanding Officer to tell him of the actions of his men. And he said he was aware and that was why he called to apologise.

“Before continuing, let me play the devil’s advocate by stating that the army may not know that the house they went to in Kiagbodo is my country home. But I feel very uncomfortable concluding this recent incident with such a theory, when I recall how men of the Tactical Squad of the Nigeria Police, attached to the Office of the Inspector General of Police, on 4th September 2018, at about 12 noon, stormed my house in Abuja in a busload, fully armed.

“They came with a Search Warrant from a Magistrates’ Court in Abuja, bearing Mrs. Helen Clark, but with the address of my house on it, that they had come to search the house; that they had information that arms from the Niger Delta were being stockpiled there. I identified myself and told that there was no one named Helen Clark, living with me in the house. I spoke with the then Deputy Inspector General of Police, Operations. But they insisted on carrying out their search. With a very clear conscience, I allowed them to go ahead with their mission. They took their time to search every space in the compound, including my bedroom, but found nothing incriminating.”

Credit – punch

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