ENUGU—UNEASY calm has again enveloped Amechi-Uwani in Enugu-South Local Government Area of Enugu State following the alleged oppression, extortion and exploitation against a section of the community.According to a petition to the Inspector –General of Police, IGP, Solomon Arase by Messres Chijioke Ugwu, Okwudili Ugwu, Dominic Ani and Christian Ugwu, some members of the community called “Umuneshi Land Committee led by one Friday Nnaji and Sunday Anyanwu had been intimidating them for the last five years.
In the petition dated October 12 and signed by their counsel, Louis Onyia, they accused an Assistant Superintendant of Police, ASP, (name withheld) of allegedly providing cover to their opponents in the land dispute. According to the petitioners, the Police Officer had cashed in on what they described as baseless and unfounded petitions to the Police headquarters, Abuja to fleece them.
“Sir, the crux of the matter was that sometime last year, one Mr. Chinedu Nnaji (one of the confederates of Mr. Friday Nnaji) died while running away with other members of his gang for fear of police arrest and prosecution as they had just attacked and set ablaze the ancestral home of Messrs Afamuefuna and Chijioke Ugwu.
“Nnaji and his cohorts damaged their household property worth over N20million; a 2002 model Toyota High Lander, a 2005 model Toyota Corolla as well as another 2010 model Toyota Camry, and Afamuefuna narrowly escaped being killed. “Before any investigation could be conducted, Mr. Friday Nnaji and Sunday fired petition to the Police alleging that Mr. Chijioke Nnaji was killed by the Ugwus.
“Happily, however, the report of the medical autopsy conducted on October 9, 2015, by the Police Pathologist and Chief Consultant, DCP Dr Wilson Akhiwu, in full glare of both parties showed clearly that Mr. Chinedu Nnaji died of myococardial infaction following persistent systematic hypertension,” Onyia stated.
Onyia therefore, appealed to the IGP to order for full investigation into the matter as well as on the role being played by the accused police officer. “For a start, kindly order that he (Nnakusoba) should release the two of our clients sureties whom he is holding in detention at Enugu and return back to Abuja pending the outcome of full investigation of allegation leveled against him,” he added.
However, the other party, the Umunenshi community debunked the claims by the Ugwus, saying that Nnaji, was ambushed and killed on December 17, last year where he had gone to inspect the conntroversial Egbirigba, Ugwuonyia land, distancing themselves from the autopsy result, which they said was carried out in the absence of the representatives of their community.
They further insisted that a top Police Officer in the state had become a stumbling block in the way of justice as well as the prosecution of four suspects arrested in connection with the death of Nnaji. According to them, the Police Officer at the centre of a disputed piece of land, obtained three plots of land from the area lying a few kilometers off Enugu, which he later sold for N9 million to compromise the case.
Addressing reporters in Enugu, Counsel to the Complainants (the Umunenshi), Sunday Anyanwu of Chieze Chambers, alleged that the police had taken sides with the alleged assailants and accused the Commissioner of Police of complicity, saying that he has “decided to compromise the case and peace of the state and the component units for pecuniary interests.”
The lawyer exhibited documents including various police reports and petitions to the Force headquarters, Abuja, wherein he restated his case against the police boss allegedly acting in connivance with some elements within the Umuewoukwus. The Police in Enugu exonerated the state Commissioner of Police of any blame in the matter; dismissing the allegations of the lawyer as untrue and unfortunate.
The State Police Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amaraizu, said that the matter had long been handled, stressing that the Commissioner was never offered or received any gift from the communities, adding that the police would always protect the people, hence it was unfair to link the police with the delays over a matter that was outside its domain.