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Okuama massacre: Army board commences sitting in Warri


The Board of Inquiry set up by Defence Headquarters to investigate the March 14 killing of 17 soldiers at Okuama, Delta State, is scheduled to commence sitting on Wednesday (today) in Warri.

Chairman of the Board, Air Vice Marshal David Ajayi, told Governor Sheriff Oborevwori in Warri that they were on a fact-finding mission and not to apportion blame.

“We are here to gather facts from security agencies, community leaders, and community dwellers.

“This report will also help us to ensure healthy communication that will enhance civil-military relations and ensure that economic activities thrive again in the affected communities,” he said.

However, Okuama leaders said the people would not be part of the inquiry.

One leader said: “Our people cannot participate in the military inquiry because Okuama people are displaced in the bush. How can people come out to attend such meetings? They are not even safe now.”

Besides the Okuama leader, the community’s lawyer before the March 14 incident, Ejedegba Innocent, confirmed that Okuama people would not attend the sitting.

On the contrary, a leader of the Okoloba community, which has a land dispute with the Okuama, indicated that his people would participate in the inquiry today.

It was gathered that the panel would commence sitting in the morning, and meet with Okoloba community leaders from 2 pm.

The panel would resume sitting in Bayelsa State on the issue on Friday.

Delta State government has indicated interest in presenting a position paper to the military inquiry.

Meanwhile, the traditional ruler of Akugbene-mein Kingdom, Bomadi Local Government Area, HRH Kalanama VIII, said that they did not invite his community to the sitting.

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