Indiscriminate Arrests: Enugu community raises alarm over defiance to court, IGP order

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By Emmanuel Uzodinma

The people of Amechi-Uwani community in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State have accused the police of impunity and disobedience to court order in matters relating to a protracted land dispute in the community.

The community’s anxiety followed the recent arrest of two of their community leaders- Ozor Onukwube Ogbodo and Mr. Okwudili Agah who were allegedly picked up by the operatives of the police Tactical squad in Enugu and detained at Awkunanaw Divisional office in Garriki on a trump up charges.

Leaders of the Amechi Uwani community told journalists that the indiscriminate arrest of their community members was in violation of an order of the Enugu State High Court issued by Justice U.J Mogboh against the Enugu state commissioner of police, Private Estate International West Africa limited, Kingsley Okah (a.k.a Evergreen) and Digital Crypto limited

The community also maintained that the arrest was in defiance to the order of the Inspector General of Police, IGP, who had given an express order for the Zone 13 headquarters of the police at Ukpo, Anambra state to handle all matters related to the issue instead of the Enugu command.

Counsel to the community, Obinna Ugwu, in a petition to the Chairman of Police Service Commission, PSC, lamented that some police officers in the Enugu state command (Tactical Squad commander) have overstayed their welcome in the command and have become authorities on their own to the extent that they can no longer obey either the court or the IGP.

Ugwu, on behalf of the Amechi-Uwani community, prayed the Police Service Commission to transfer some of the police officers who were allegedly taking sides with the company and a former Governor of Enugu state.

Ugwu said that some of the police officers have remained in Enugu command for over ten to twenty years and dictates for any commissioner of police posted to the state.

The affected police officers were also accused of having been allocated large portions of land by the respondents on the matter.

While appealing for the release of the arrested community members, Ugwu petitioned that “these officers who have overstayed in Enugu state police command have become so emboldened that they are always against everything the Nigeria police stands for.”

They said the officers, “without any cause and regardless of the fact that the Zone 13 headquarters is seized of every complaint and investigations of our client’s land, carry out an indiscriminate and mass arrest of some of the indigenes of our client’s communities who are perceived to be obstacles to the activities of land grabbers, detained and falsely accused them of abduction, even when it is clear as crystal that these indigenes are not involved in any crime or abduction.”

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