The Imo State Government has said it granted state pardon only to Ohaji/Egbema militants that operate around the Awarra Court Area of Ohaji/Egbema LGA of Imo State as part of its continuous effort to restore permanent peace in Imo State.
According to a statement by the Imo State Commissioner of Information, Prof. Nnamdi Obiareri said no amnesty or State pardon was granted by Imo State Government to any person or group of persons for any crime or crimes committed in Rivers State, Nigeria or any other part of Nigeria beyond or outside Imo State.
The reaction came on the heels of comments credited to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike who accused Governor Rochas Okorocha of granting pardon to militants who ran away from Rivers State.
Obiareri said the pardon became necessary because the militants have been responsible for ceaseless oil pipeline vandalism, kidnappings, loss of lives and properties in the Awarra Court Area and entire Ohaji/ Egbema/Oguta oil producing communities of Imo State.
He said the Security Council of Imo State made up of the Army, Police, SSS, NSCDC and others took the decision to grant State pardon to repentant militants on 5 February 2018 after they voluntarily and publicly surrendered their large cache of arms and ammunitions and confessed to sundry crimes they committed in Imo State.
“It is not the intention of Imo State Government to enmesh itself in needless controversy over this voluntary and successful disarmament exercise with Rivers State Government or anyone else as Imo State Government has not violated any laws or breached any protocols or security codes in granting State pardon to militants that operate within her territorial jurisdiction” the statement stated.