No fewer than five persons including the clerk of council and four councilors have taken weapons against one another in a leadership crisis that erupted in the Okpokwu Local Government Council of Benue state.
The crisis, which reared its head on Tuesday, when four councilors reportedly invaded the legislative council chambers and pulled the clerk, Mr. James Onoja, out of his office, beat him to stupor and fractured him on the hand.
However, four legislative council members were also, reportedly beaten to coma by hired armed men suspected to be men of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).
A councilor who spoke on behalf of the four affected legislators, Mr. Adah Gabriel Otanwa, told LEADERSHIP that they had only protested non-payment of their four month imprest which he claimed was N1 million. They were also protesting the imposition of a new council leadership on them.
But the leader of Okpokwu legislative council, Mr. Sunday Ochigbo Joseph said that the four councilors had unlawfully invaded the council on February 19, 2013 and made for his office though he was absent.
According to Ochigbo, the legislators who, he said called themselves minister Abba Moro councilors caused the crisis. “They started it right from when we were inaugurated and when I contested election and I won as legislative leader. At the end of the process, they continued to cause problems and that is why they came the other day to attack me.”
He said “Fortunately I was not around and they forcefully beat up the clerk and fractured him with intention to hijack the election results. The clerk is now hospitalised. They are claiming that the Minister of Interior is sponsoring them.”