By Vincent Ujumadu
THE 14 people arrested at Abatete, Idemili North local government area of Anambra State for protesting against the killing of a 25 year old indigene of the community, Mr. Uchenna Udoh are to appear in court on July 12, 2022.
Uchenna, a mechanic, was gunned down during the sit -at-home on Monday a fortnight ago near his workshop and his motorcycle and working tools set ablaze on the suspicion that he belonged to a cult group.
Youths of the area who insisted that Uchenna did not belong to any cult group later protested and marched with the lifeless body of the father of three round the community and the following day, no fewer than fourteen of them were arrested by the police.
Although they were asked to go home at the weekend following the intervention of stakeholders in the community, a letter from the Anti Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police State headquarters, Awka directed them to be at the court on July 12, a development that had further created tension in the area. The letter from the police titled ‘Arraignment Notice’ dated 2nd July read: “Be informed that the above mentioned case of conspiracy / malicious damage will come up in the Chief Magistrate Court, Ogidi on Tuesday, the 12th day of July, 2022 at 8.00 am for arraignment and hearing.
“You are requested in your interest to attend the said court in time with at least one person to be your surety if you are granted bail. Your would be surety must have with him originals and photocopies of tax clearance certificate or receipts for the past three years.
“Failure to attend the said court will tantamount to contempt of court and your coming to the said court without at least one would –be surety may result in your being remanded in prison custody with its resultant hardship, inconvenience and embarrassment”.
Meanwhile, the royal cabinet of Abatete has sent a delegation to condole with the family of the deceased mechanic and another family whose son was also killed under a similar circumstance in the town.
Tracing the problem to what was described as a leadership gap in the community, the Igwe in Council of Abatete urged the President General of the community to hasten the process of registering the youth wing of Abatete Development Organization, ADO, so that the community would have a body of youths that could easily be reached.
The council also observed that the security architecture of the community was unstable and had resolved to overhaul it urgently to enable the youths of the area play a major role in securing the four quarters of the community, adding that the present arrangement where the bulk of the funding of security of the town which rested with members of the council should be reviewed.