Enugu Community elders allege threat to life, police intimidation, petition IGP

February 7, 2021
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The Ozalla Abor village Council of Elders in Abor Community, Udi Local Government Area of Enugu state has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, alleging police harassment, intimidation and threats to life.

The octogenarians in the petition through their counsel, Austin Amechi, and made available to our correspondent on Sunday, was tittled: “using police men in Enugu to intimidate our client, rob land/communal properties worth over N10 billion and threat to life.”

The elders who were acting on behalf of themselves and Ozalla Abor village, 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.

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They alleged that ten members of the village with the aid of some government officials have connived with some unscrupulous policemen the state to intimidate, harass and hounds their children because of their petition to the police against them and Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development for impersonation, forgery and fraud.

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

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

“Surprisingly, on the 26 January 2021, at about 3 am, 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 have not concluded investigation on the complaint our clients lodged since July, 2020.”

They however, explained that on the contrary, there was no armed robbery that took place as alleged in their community. “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.

“The worst is that some policemen from Enugu Police Command, asked the land robbers to write a phantom petition against the five elders who told the Chief Magistrate Court that the children are innocent of the trump-up charges and that there was no robbery or attempted murder in their village as alleged. They now want to intimidate the senior citizens/elders for speaking the truth!

“The plan is to keep the elders of Ozalla Abor Village silenced and used the policemen from Enugu Command to force our clients to sign that the robbers acquired the hectares of land in issue. They have threatened their life. 

“We are aware that a senior police officer in Enugu Police Command is the brain behind the plan of those who are robbing our clients of their land. They have money they got from the sale of the village land. This makes them attractive to those who are helping them to intimidate our clients and their children  – using moneys from stealing and selling of several hectares of clients village and communal land.

“An example of the money in the hand and the control of the land robbers is this:

One of the lands involved has over 2,300 plots of land. At the rate of N1 million per plot, the robbers will have N2.3 billion.  This is just one of the portions of land involved.  There are several others.

“In view of the foregoing, we humbly request as following:

“That the complaint of our clients against the underlisted be handed over to the Inspector General of Police Team from Abuja for discreet investigation:

“John Nnabuchukwu Onyechi, Chukwuka Ugwuigwe, Anthony Eze, Ifeanyi Eze, Ejike Ugwu, Uche Njeze, Innocent Ugwu, Joseph Agu, Everest Udengwu and Ferdinard Agbo.

“Those who framed and fabricated the allegation of armed robbery and attempted murder against the five sons of Ozalla Abor village when, in fact, there was no robbery or armed robbery or attempted murder in the village should be investigated by a team of policemen from Abuja.

“We pray you, sir, to note that one or two police officers in Enugu State Police Command Headquarters are fueling trouble in the Ozalla Abor village by instigating the land grabbers and robbers to lodge trump-up complaints against our clients’ children and threatening to use same method on our clients.  The Divisional Police Officer, 9th Mile, Enugu and his Divisional Crime Officer seem to have been influenced by the land robbers. 

“The police officer in charge of Area Command, Enugu was said to be involved in the plan to keep our clients silenced to provide cover for the land robbers. The role of the Assistant Commissioner of police, Enugu State Police Command will also be known if policemen from Abuja take over and investigate the complaints therein.

“Finally, we urge, sir, not to allow our clients, who are the victims, to be intimidated by the land robbers of Ozalla Abor Village – no matter how rich the stealing had made them.  We also pray you to fish out the police officers the greedy land grabbers and robbers are using as their brain box in their desire to turn victims of their crimes into culprits.”

The petition was copied to Chairman, Police Service Commission, Chairman, Senate Committee on Police and the Commissioner of Police, Enugu State.

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