By Emma Amaize
ASABA — ELDERS of Obodogwugwu community in Okpanam, Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State, have accused police officers from the Inspector General’s Monitoring Unit, Abuja, of providing cover for an armed gang, which had taken over the community’s land.
The elders, led by Acting Diokpa, Ogbueshi P.K. Obanya, who spoke to Vanguard in Asaba, named a Superintendent of Police as the head of the team protecting the group of militants and cultists from facing the law.
The community in a petition to the Inspector General of Police, also alleged that the suspects were using the IG Monitoring Unit to take over case files concerning them from the Delta State Police Command, Asaba, thereby, frustrating proper investigations into murder, kidnap and others cases against them.
According to them, the situation was getting dicey in the community, as the suspected gunmen have instilled fear and stopped natives from going to their farmlands.
The gang allegedly burnt an SUV and restaurant belonging to the chairman of the community’s land committee, on May 25, for allegedly opposing their reign of terror.
The elders said that the gunmen set ablaze a bulldozer hired by the community in 2010 “for the purpose of plotting/allocation of our communal land,” while several elders had received death threats.
According to Ogbueshi Obanya, “the militant group is currently selling our land, they have made attempts to kidnap some of us and we have reported to the police in Okpanam and Asaba, but we heard that the police from Abuja are protecting the boys from prosecution.”
Diokpa of Umuchima quarters, Mr. D.D Amadi, said: “They shoot people who go to farm, our people do not go to farm again because of intimidation. There is fear, I do not sleep well. We call on the state government to come to our rescue.
“The group that is intimidating us is strong and has influence, they have lawyers and policemen that work for them, that is our problem.”