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Pete Edochie’s brother, 17 others arrested as 5 killed over land dispute

By Pamela Eboh, Awka on 30/05/2017

Views: 1,565

There is palpable fear in the small town of Nteje in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State as trouble over land dispute has left five persons dead while eighteen others, including a brother to famous Nollywood actor, Pete Edochie, have been detained in Abuja.

Most youths in the area have fled to avoid possible mass arrest. The 18 persons being detained by the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) include Chief Ikechukwu Edochie, Chief Cyril Nwankwo, Mr. Vincent Okongu, Pastor Vin Nnaemeka, Modilim Nwene, Anthony Ewenike, Dominic Oboh and Sunday Mobi. Others are Paul Aghadinuno, Monday Nwafor and Nwoye Amamchukwu. Also being detained are Obelagu Mobi, Koife Chukwuemeka, Ogwugwua Nweke, Fidelis Cordi, Ibe Kenneth, Chijioke Anyanti and Uchenna Oraegbunam.

The traditional ruler of the town, Igwe Rowland Odegbo, who escaped being arrested following Governor Willie Obiano’s timely intervention, has cried out over the alleged incessant harassment of his people by the Police from outside the state, saying that his community was under Police siege.

Narrating the story of the crisis in the community, Igwe Odegbo said: “The land dispute in Nteje started when some people organised themselves and became land speculators. They have been illegally selling communal land for many years.

“The problem was that they were not making appropriate returns to the villagers, hence the trouble that led to death of three persons on 11th of March this year when two factions involved in the sale of the land clashed.

“Even when the military later intervened in the matter to quell the riot, one of the groups attacked the soldiers, leading to the death of one other person whose body is still in the mortuary.

“Another casualty was one of the people dealing on cows in the area, who he described as the latest victim.

“The major problem we have is that one policeman, who was at the Special Anti Robbery Squad Awkuzu and now an Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of SARS in Abuja, is being used to come into Nteje and arrest people and take them to Abuja without recourse to the Anambra State Police Command.

“There was even a petition that I, the Traditional Ruler, should be brought to Abuja and they would have carried me if the Anambra State Governor had not intervened.

“I was addressing a village meeting when the Policemen came and said that I was needed in Abuja. However, following the intervention of the Governor, they asked me to come at my own time, but I knew that was a face-saving measure on their part.

“When one person was killed recently, the same Abuja SARS came to Nteje and arrested many people who are yet to be released.

“I don’t know why Abuja SARS should be bypassing Anambra State Police Command to come and carry people to Abuja. What borders me is that when three people were killed in March, there was a petition to the police, while another group wrote another petition and included me.

“What has been happening here is that petitions have been flying and arrests being made indiscriminately.

“I really don’t understand why our people should be intimidated by a group and trying to rope in the traditional ruler because someone was opposed to my being crowned the Igwe of Nteje.”

The traditional ruler urged the state Governor, Willie Obiano to set up a panel of enquiry to look into what is happening in Nteje.

He also called for help in his community saying the community is under Police siege from Abuja.


Source News Express

Posted 30/05/2017 12:50:58 AM





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