Murder of Royal Father: Enugu Community Cries out to IG over Indiscriminate Arrests


Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu

Irked by the continuous arrest and detention of their kinsmen following the gruesome murder of their traditional ruler, Igwe Stephen Nwatu, Ogbozinne, Akpugo community in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State thursday, have asked the Inspector General of Police, IG Ibrahim Idris, to immediately intervene before the situation further degenerates.

The community insisted that all arrests should cease pending the determination of the panel of Inquiry’s report set up by the state government on the crisis in the area.

In a petition they copied the State Commissioner of Police and Chairman of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Civil Disturbances in Ogbozinne Community, they also asked for the unsealing of the bank accounts of members of the community blocked by the police in the wake of the crisis that erupted on June 11, over the murder of Igwe Nwatu.

The petition signed by Chief Samuel Okenwa, alleged indiscriminate arrests of innocent persons of the community in place of a suspect at large, stressing that the development would impede the work of the panel as the people may have to stay away for fear of being arrested by the police”.

According to him, last Wednesday, He stated that last Wednesday, a team of policemen from federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) had stormed the Lekki-Lagos residence of Uchenna Nwodo and failing to see him, arrested 15- year- old Chinedu Nwodo and a cook in his house, Frank.

They ransacked the house and mounted gadgets and instructed the family to keep their doors open.

He added that “three under-aged persons were arrested and detained by Federal SARS in conjunction with the police in Enugu State at Adeniji Adele in Lagos and two persons are still being detained for over one month without trial. All these are happening with impunity to the establishment of a panel of Inquiry set up by the state government. In addition, bank accounts of all the members of the community are sealed except those people loyal to the late Igwe”.

Meanwhile, one of the members of the community, whose legs were shattered during the face-off that claimed the life of the traditional ruler, Jesse Okenwa, has asked the Police to arrest and prosecute the driver of the late Monarch’s vehicle and the occupants of the car.

Okenwa in a petition sent to the Commissioner of Police, Enugu through his Counsel, B.N Nebe, also decried the inability of the Judicial panel to invite certain persons he said were key witnesses to the face-off that claimed the life of the monarch.

Okenwa, who has not been able to walk since the incident, said it was sad that while he has continued to reel in pain, following the alleged order of the late king on the driver to “crush him”, the perpetrators of the act had been walking freely.

Nwatu met his death when he tried to stop members of the community who were on their way to Enugu Government House to answer an invitation from the state governor on the crisis rocking the community.

He was allegedly said to have blocked the delegation with the aid of policemen and ordered them back to the community, a development that resulted into mob action after his driver used his car to run over the legs of Okenwa, shattering them in the process.

The Monarch died few days after he was rushed to the Parklane general hospital and is yet to be buried. The police had since then been arresting the community members indiscriminately, even as the state government judicial community has commenced sitting.

However, the Police in a statement by its Public Relations Officer in Enugu, Ebere Amaraizu, yesterday said that four persons allegedly involved in the murder of the monarch had been arraigned in court.

He said they were remanded in prison custody on charges bothering on conspiracy and murder. He disclosed that one Nnajiofor Nwatu believed to have participated in the act had also been nabbed.