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Enugu elders petition IGP, allege threat to life, intimidation

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Mohammed Adamu

Elders of Ozalla Abor Community in Udi Local Council of Enugu State have petitioned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), alleging police harassment, intimidation and threat to life.

The elders, under the aegis of Council of Elders, in their petition through their counsel, Austin Amechi, titled: “Using Policemen in Enugu to Intimidate Our Client, Rob Land/Communal Property worth over N10 billion and a threat to life,” said they were being hounded following their refusal to part with their community land.

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The petitioners are Ichie Peter Eze, Head of Ozalla Abor Village; Sir Elias Eruchie, Chairman, Ozalla Abor Village Council of Elders; Ichie Cornelius Onodingene, Ichie Callistus Ille, Ichie Venitius Nnadieke, Ichie Gregory Emefu, Pastor Fidelis Udochukwu, Athanasius Akwaka and Festus Ogbu.

They alleged that 10 members of the village, with the aid of some government officials, had connived with some unscrupulous policemen in the state to intimidate, harass and hound their children because of their “petition to the police against them and Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development for impersonation, forgery and fraud over land.”

Their petition to the IGP, dated February 3, 2021, read: “Sir, on October 19, 2020, this law office wrote to you complaining against 10 sons of Ozalla Abor Village and Victor Nnam, the Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development, Enugu State.

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“The result of this investigation is yet to be made known. Our clients’ complaint was lodged and received on July 28, 2020, in Enugu.

“Surprisingly, on January 26, 2021, at about 3:00 a.m., the children of our clients were arrested by Anti-Cult Department from Enugu Police Command on trump-up charges of armed robbery and attempted murder by the group our clients had complained against. They had lodged a counter attack using the Anti-Cult Department.

“The following were arrested: Maxwell Obodo, Jude Amadi, Chukwuma Agu, Paul Ifebuche Ene and Ejike Ugwu. They were accused of attempted murder and armed robbery. They were taken to the Chief Magistrate Court on the same day of their arrest and remanded in Nigeria correctional facility. They are still in detention till today.

“The investigation, if any, was very hasty. There was no previous arrest or invitation! Yet, the same Enugu Police Command has not concluded investigation on the complaint our clients lodged since July 2020.”

They, however, said that on the contrary, there was no armed robbery that took place as alleged in their community, adding: “No murder or attempted murder took place as alleged. Nobody was the victim of armed robbery. The said arrest was planned to pay our clients for reporting the land robbers to Enugu Police Command.”

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