June 22, 2009

Police commence fresh probe of Ogbunike crisis

*Arrest 13

By  Tony Edike

ENUGU—THE Nigeria Police has commenced fresh investigations into the 2007 mayhem in Osile, Ogbunike community of Anambra State, which claimed five lives and property worth millions of naira.

The Inspector-General of Police, Sir Mike Okoro ordered the fresh  investigation,  following a petition by an Enugu-based human rights organisation, Centre for Victims of Extra Judicial Killings and Torture (CVEKT), which protested the poor handling of the matter by Anambra State Police Command.

Acting on the IGP’s directive, a team of police detectives from Force Headquarters Abuja stormed the Ogbunike community last week and arrested 13 persons in connection with the mayhem, while some prominent indigenes, believed to have sponsored the attack fled their homes during the raid.

Vanguard learnt that the 13 persons were whisked away to Abuja, where they are currently helping the police in their investigations, but CVEKT has raised alarm over moves by alleged masterminds of the mayhem to evade arrest.

Although the group expressed satisfaction with the IGP’s intervention, it however, expressed fear and apprehension over alleged maneuvers by some kingpins of the Osile mayhem to evade arrest with the aid of some highly placed persons in Abuja police command.

Executive Director of CVEKT, Rev. Tony Amarube told reporters in Enugu that the alleged kingpins were using every means including their financial muscle and connections in Abuja Legal Department of the Police Command to extricate themselves from the searchlight of the law, contrary to their indictment by the Commission of Inquiry into the Osile crisis.

Amarube noted that the group had consistently raised alarm over the suppression of the truth and facts of the crisis and the frustration of due process of establishing same by the police in Anambra State, while the money bags fingered in the mayhem have continued to lay siege on the community, killing several villagers and sending other Osile indigenes to jail.