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Akwa Ibom community petitions DSS over alleged killing of kinsmen

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The Enwang Community, headquarters of Mbo Council of Akwa Ibom State, have petitioned Director-General, Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Magaji Bichi, over alleged killing and beheading of some members of the community by their Uko Nteghe Uda Community counterparts.

Alleging that the victims were beheaded and their heads taken away, they said the attackers destroyed 14 houses and set others, including residence of the late former Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Etim Inyang, ablaze.

Titled: A Petition And Passionate Appeal For Investigation Of The Unprovoked Invasion and Attack On The Enwang Community By Their Uko Nteghe Usa Neighbours, it revealed that four members of the Enwang Community were beheaded, while the attackers took away heads of the victims.

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National Coordinator, Society for the Promotion of Human Rights and Justice, Udo Eke-Okon, who endorsed the petition, said the rape of a 50-year-old woman in the community triggered the crisis.

“The invasion of Enwang Community happened on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, when an Uko Nteghe Uda carpenter, identified as Eteka Edet John, raped a 50-year-old, Mrs. Arit Asuquo of Eyo Atabia Ufiok in Uko Akpan Enwang, who went to fetch firewood after beating her into submission.

“The matter was reported at the Divisional Police Headquarters in Enwang, but the police did not pursue the case, alleging that the big men of Uko Nteghe Uda intervened and ‘killed the matter,’

The Guardian learnt that the community militants from the neighbouring community launched the first attack on farmers, who were cultivating their farmlands.

“At this is the time of the year when our people normally prepare their farmlands for cultivation, a section of the Enwang Community (notably Eyo Evai, Eyo Ukut, Eyo Udombo and part of Uko Akpan villages) that had farmed on Uko Ateni, went to the farmland to clear and prepare it for cultivation on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

“For the avoidance of doubt, part of the farmland had been a cause for legal disputes for years now between Uko Akai Uko Akpan in Enwang and Uko Akai Uko Nteghe in Uda.

“Villages of Enwang Community that went to clear their farmlands at Uko Ateni, did so on the strength of the Oron High Court judgment in Suit No HOR/1/2013 delivered by Justice Theresa E. Obot on February 19, 2020, which ruled that the communities should restrict themselves to their ancestral boundaries,” it said.

The petitioners noted that the Uko Nteghe Uda did not appeal the judgment, which declared: “That the Uko Akai Uko Akpan and Uko Akai Uko Nteghe people shall continue to share and cultivate their communal lands, as they have been doing since time immemorial.”

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