By Vincent Ujumadu
THE people of Umuduayika and Atiko kindred of Iruayika village, Awkuzu in Oyi local government area of Anambra State have petitioned the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Usman Alkali Baba, over alleged murder of one person and destruction of property worth millions of naira in the area
In the petition by their counsel, Mr. C.C. Onubogu, which was also copied to the Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, in charge of Zone 13, Ukpo, the community traced the incident to May, 2020 when some youths in the area allegedly attempted to forcefully take over the management of the communal land without authorization from the stakeholders.
The lands in question are Nkpukpo, Nchalla and Amanakwe, situated at Iruayika village in Awkuzu.
The petition read: “Sometime in. May, 2020, some ill-advised, misinformed and dissident youths of Iruayika village attempted to take over the management of the Nkpukpo, Nchalla and Amanakwe lands. Their aim was to parcel the lands, re-allocate some to themselves and then sell. These youths began threatening violence, mayhem and even death on anyone who tried to stop them.
“Following the threats, the stakeholders wrote to the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State Police Command, asking for the intervention of the Police to forestall breach of the peace in the community and loss of lives. It was only after the intervention of the Police that peace and normalcy was restored to the village.
“On the 22nd of December, 2020 at about 2 am, they visited the house of the chairman of the stakeholders’ delegates, Mr. Ogugua Nweke at Iruayika village, who ran away when he sighted them and hid nearby.
“When the youths met his absence, they vandalized and destroyed his properties worth over N1 million. They also carted away items he had purchased in preparation for the funeral ceremony of his late father in law.
“On the 24th of December, 2020 their leader called Mr. Ogugua Nweke and threatened to kill him and other stakeholders if they refuse to allow one Mr. Udeze Eze to take over the sale and management of the lands jointly owned by the Umuduayika and Atiko kindred. This threat has made Ogugua Nweke to go into hiding with his family.
“In the early hours of the 3rd day of January, 2021 they visited the residence of one Mr. Ifeanyi Okonkwo, a stakeholder and killed him.
They also destroyed the house of Prince Alex Ezebilo, another stakeholder and set ablaze his ML Mercedes Jeep, his soundproof generator, as well as two other generators.
“We, therefore, humbly urge you to use your good office to safeguard the lives and property of members of lruayika Village, and carry out a proper investigation into the murder and criminal activities.”
State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Ikenga Tochukwu said he was not aware of the Awkuzu crises, promising, however, to give details if he received information on the matter.
Chairman of village, Mr. Ogugua Nweke, the secretary, Prince Francis Nweke and another stakeholder, Prince Alex Ezebuilo, in a statement yesterday said their worry was that all the people arrested in connection with the crises in the community were released unceremoniously and urged the police to carry out proper investigation into the matter
“With the release of these suspects, our village is no longer safe. Most of our people have fled and are hiding outside the village, while the suspects who were released by the police are roaming the street and bragging that nothing will happen to them,” they said.
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