Caged: The family members

By Samuel Oyadongha & Emem Idio, Yenagoa

TEN members of a family in Toru-Ndoro and Bulou-Ndoro communities in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State were reportedly locked up in an iron cell over ownership of creeks and lands.

They are now demanding justice.

The family, identified as the Otubo, accused the Chairmen of the Toru-Ndoro and Bulou-Ndoro Community Development Committee, CDC, Mr. Abunty Etifa-Hitler, and other members of the CDC of maltrement.

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In a petition to the state Commissioner of Police, they accused the CDC members of subjecting their family members to inhuman treatment, after allegedly locking them up in an iron cage.

According to the family, the victims were reportedly abducted from their houses, detained and locked up in the iron cage at Toru Ndoro on October 19.

They said the action exposed them to the elements, and that they were denied food and water over the dispute on the ownership of Ogbotobo creeks and lands which is their maternal home.

The ‘prisoners’

The victims’ names were given as Jacob Debekeme, Tamarau-brakaemi Hitler, Anotie ThankGod, Kemeagbe-ere ThankGod, Agbemo, Ebiema, Love, Emomotimi among others.

Some weeks back, pictures emerged of how members of the Otubo family were locked up in an iron cage at the Toru-Ndoro Community cell for maintaining that the Alei-Toru/Kala-Toru/Krin creeks and environs belonged to their maternal home, Ogbotobo community in Ekeremor.

A member of the family, Mrs. Eunice Binaebi, told newsmen in Yenagoa that the Community Executives allegedly led by the CDC Chairman of Toru-Ndoro, Mr Abunty Etifa-Hitler, first ordered them to proceed on exile.

When they refused, they were locked up in an iron cage. They also reportedly threatened that any community member who gave them food or water would pay a fine of N100,000.

Mrs Binaebi alleged that though the victims had been released from the cage, they were asked not to go anywhere near the creek to fish or farm until they pay a fine of N200,000 or be forced into exile.

Contacted, the CDC Chairman of Toru-Ndoro, Mr. Abunty Etifa-Hitler, described the matter as “a community issue,” saying that the area in dispute was not Ogbotobo creeks, but Alei-Toru creeks.

He, however, denied that 10 members of the Otubo family were locked up in the iron cage with their rights violated under his supervision, pledging to get back which he never did.

Spokesman of the Bayelsa Police Command, Asinim Butswat, when contacted, said he was trying to get in touch with the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the area for details.


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