Anambra community protests against extra-judicial killings, police brutality, others
Youths of Ifite Nteje Community in Oyi Council of Anambra State have raised the alarm over alleged extra-judicial killings, police brutality, arson and other crimes in area.
A lawyer, Martins Ngoesina Okechukwu, who spoke on behalf of the youths during a protest by the Ifite-Nteje youths, yesterday, expressed concern over the situation and urged the Anambra State government to intervene and salvage them from their predicament.
Lamenting their plight, Okechuckwu alleged that an Abuja-based businessman and politician from Umuefi Nteje (names withheld) was behind the crisis in the community, maintaining that there was breakdown of law and order necessitated by indiscriminate selling of land.
Okechukwu accused the individuals of sponsoring terrorism in Nteje by arming the youths, who are involved in the sale of communal land, renting crowd to scuttle police investigation and demanding about six hundred plots of land from the community.
He said some of the youths opposed to the selling of their ancestral land were detained by police in Abuja and tortured, while some were torture and brutalised, noting that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alkali Baba Usman, had directed the state Commissioner of Police (CP) to investigate the Nteje matter, while some loyalists of the indicted politician were arrested with firearms.
Also speaking, Lazarus Aniefuna said two of his houses were burnt, adding that he had been in exile in the past three months, while his family had been suffering, insisting that for peace to reign in the community, Ifite-Nteje people should be allowed to manage their own affairs without interference from any group or individual.
He also appealed to the state government to restore sanity in the community by deploying law enforcement agents to the place.
A youth leader, Chinenye Ekwenze alleged that some persons set his house on fire in October 2021 and that he has been homeless since then, while Arinze Akwaeze, who claimed to be a member of the State Vigilante Group, said he could not return to the community again due to the crisis, as some of the hoodlums were after him.
President of the Caretaker Committee of Nteje Town Union, Chief Beneth Chinweze, corroborated the allegations, insisting that the community had been in disarray due to police intimidation and efforts to make the zone 13 police intervene in the Nteye crisis without success.
He said the charges of murder and illegal possession of firearms were levelled against innocent people to ensure that they were detained without bail.
However, when contacted on telephone, one Chief Nwakalor, who was indicted in the crisis, said he was not directly or indirectly connected to the crisis, adding that there was chieftaincy tussle in the community and that he was neither the complainant, nor the defendant in the matter.