By Vincent Ujumadu – Akwa
Two persons have been killed and five others are in detention following land tussle at Odumodu Umunya in Oyi local government area of Anambra State.
The community, at a press conference in Awka, gave the names of those killed as Okwudili Okeke and Paul Nwabuebo, while the five persons whose names were not given are being detained in Asaba, Delta State.
Counsel to Odumodu community, Mr. Obiora Umeh, who addressed newsmen said that following the incident, men of the community’s vigilante outfit have been arresting people indiscriminately, forcing the men of the ccommunity to flee their homes.
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According to Umeh, many women in the community were being arrested in place of their husbands and male children if the men were not available, adding that as a result, all able bodied men in the community have run away.
He said: “Our findings showed that those that were arrested were detained by the men of the vigilante group and thereafter handed over to the police at Nteje Police Station.
“The matter was later transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Awka where it was found out that none of them had anything to do with the murder of the two people.
“Surprisingly, the same people were sent back to the SCID which eventually granted them bail, but despite meeting the bail conditions, they were yet to be released.
“Odumodu people have also petitioned the Inspector General of Police,IGP urging him to investigate thoroughly the murder of the two people.
‘Although the IGP has assigned the matter to Zone 13 Police, Ukpo, up till today, no arrest has been made. Rather, another person, Ebuka Oraegbunam was arrested by the men of the vigilante group.
“In a twist, some people in Umunya who aided the police to arrest the leader of the vigilante group over the killing of the two people, were arrested and paraded naked in the villages in Umunya and taken to Asaba where Ebuka was already in detention. Based on this, we took the matter to court to enforce their fundamental human rights”.
Secretary of Odumodu Community Improvement Union, Comrade Sunday Esedo said the problem started in 2015 when the traditional ruler of Umunya, Igwe Chris Onyekwulije inaugurated a parallel executive for Odumodu.
“We went into exile for more than six months. It was after police investigation that the police said we had no case to answer and we were asked to return home.
“Later the Igwe took two people to court and abandoned the case and the court later dismissed the case. The Attorney General of the State also wrote a report and cleared us of any wrongdoing”, Esedo said.
He added: “We want Governor Willie Obiano to intervene in this matter to douse the tension in our area. We call on the governor to set up a commission of inquiry to look into what is happening in Odumodu in particular and Umunya in general because a lot of activities are going on in our town.
“We also urge the police to carry out through investigation into the killing of the two people whose corpses are still in the mortuary several months after they were gruesomely murdered”.