Police Imprison Community Leaders in Enugu, Label Them ‘Unknown Gunmen’

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Officers of the Nigeria Police have arrested men from Igga Community and accused them of being the unknown gunmen who killed five police men of Adani police station in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area and set the station ablaze.

Igga Community was raided by the Nigeria Police, and Ralph Iyambo, Titus Okeke, and other young men were arrested and accused of being unknown gunmen. They were arrested by men of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) in Enugu State.

FIJ learnt that the arrest of Iyambo was not without cause. Iyambo had been involved in a battle with Herbert Ukuta, the king of the community, over a communal land issue. FIJ had reported on the land issue, which also involved Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the Enugu State Governor, who was behind the imprisonment of Okonkwo Vincent Nwachukwu, a lawyer in the community, and Ikechukwu Ennanya, a lung cancer patient who died during the prolonged episode.

Iyambo has been in custody at the state CID for the past three weeks. A resident of Igga community who is familiar with the case told FIJ names were penciled and young boys were also picked up by the Police. The Police had claimed to act on a petition sent to them, but when asked for a copy, they said it wasn’t a petition but rather an intelligence report.

The names of those penciled was however the same as those who had once signed a petition against Ukuta. FIJ learnt that Mohammed Ndatsu Aliyu, the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, was directed by Usman Alkali Baba, the Inspector General of Police, to conduct a thorough investigation on the case and report back.

Despite receiving court proceedings on the land case and being updated on the illegal incarceration of Okonkwo for the past nine months, Iyambo and the others still remain in custody.

“As I am talking to you, nobody sleeps at home. The Police raid the village at will,” FIJ was informed by a community member.

FIJ called CP Aliyu, but he denied knowledge of the arrests and said he was in Abuja. He refused to further comment on the case and said he doesn’t pre-empt investigations.

The Nigeria Police and Nigerian Army have been accused of picking innocent men and labelling them unknown gunmen or members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

F.I.J

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