Leaders of Abagana, headquarters of Njikoka Local Government Area of
Anambra State have asked the Inspector General of Police Mr. Ibrahim Idris
to prosecute Chairman of Atlas Oranto Petroleum, Prince Arthur Eze for
unleashing violence on the town.
The leaders, under the aegis of Abagana Welfare Union, urged the top
police boss to sanction the Anambra State Commissioner of Police Mr.
Samuel Okaula, Area Commander Longe, as well as the Divisional officers
for Njikoka and Dunukofia local government areas, police officers the town
union said have been heavily compromised by Prince Arthur Eze.
Dated August 29, 2016, the petition faulted Police Commissioner Okaula’s
recent claim that 23 persons he paraded in Awka were terrorists. On the
contrary, said the petitioners, Arthur Eze had been using the police to
terrorize law-abiding residents of Abagana. The petition was signed on
behalf of the Union by Barrister Emma Ifeadike.
“We are constrained to draw your attention to mounting threats to the
peace, law and order of Abagana community by the Commissioner of Police,
Anambra State, Mr. Samuel Okaula, the Area Commander (Awka) ACP Longe, as
well as the Divisional Police Officers in charge of Dunukofia and Njikoka
LGAs by their bid to forcefully take over the ancestral land of Abagana
community, at the instigation of Prince Arthur Eze,” began the petition.
“The aforementioned police officers, who ought to be officers of the law
have, quite regrettably become pawns on the chessboard of this moneybag
whose cliché is “every man has a price” and that “when money talks,
“The genesis of this is a lingering land dispute between Abagana and Ukpo
towns. Even though the expanse of land historically belongs to Abagana,
the people of Ukpo led by Prince Aurthur Eze and his brother, the
traditional ruler of the town, Igwe Robert Eze, have been laying claim to
the land- the same way they have been falsely laying claims to lands
belonging to Enugwu-Agidi and Abba towns.
“A High Court of Anambra State had earlier given judgment in favour of
Ukpo. Dissatisfied with the judgment, Abagana filed an appeal before the
Court of Appeal, Enugu. The Appeal is listed as CA/E/86/2002 and motion
“Despite the pendency of the appeal, Prince Arthur Eze, with cover from
the heavily compromised COMPOL Samuel Okaula and over 200 armed policemen
and vigilante from Ukpo, moved bulldozers and allied earthmoving equipment
into the disputed land. As Abagana people watched helplessly, the machines
bulldozed their homes, graves, farmlands and economic trees. To secure the
captured territory, Prince Arthur Eze built a police post thereon, and
with illegal police protection hurriedly began building up the place,
apparently to frustrate the upcoming appeal.
“On August 19, 2016, there were reports of an attack on properties erected
by Prince Arthur Eze on the disputed lands. From every indication, the
destruction of properties was orchestrated by Prince Arthur Eze himself,
to rope in the leaders of Abagana community. Few hours later in the
morning of August 20, 2016, COMPOL Okaula, working according to plans with
Prince Arthur Eze, personally led an operation to Abagana and arrested
scores of people believed to be close to Chief Emmanuel Nwude, Owelle
Abagana whom he suspected was financing the attack and court case against
“Curiously, barely 24 hours after the reported attack, COMPOL Samuel
Okaula addressed a world press conference where he paraded 10 workers of
EM Guest Inn, Abagana, owned by High Chief Emmanuel Nwude. Without any
shred of evidence, and in clear departure from what had originally been
dubbed “Case of Conspiracy and Murder”, COMPOL Samuel Okaula tagged the
arrestees “terrorists”, just to appeal to his financier Prince Arthur Eze.
Quite laughably, COMPOL Okaula has manufactured “dangerous weapons”
including arms and ammunition, which he claimed the “terrorists” used to
attack the police post.
Continued the petition, “It might interest you to note that COMPOL Okaula
has since ordered the release of ALL suspects from Prince Arthur Eze’s
town Ukpo arrested in the Abagana raid, confirming his partisanship. My
clients strongly believe that COMPOL Samuel Okaula has declared war on
Abagana. Prominent sons of Abagana lucky to have escaped arrest have gone
into hiding, as Prince Arthur Eze boasts that he has the resources to get
the police arrest One million people, if need be,” stated the petitioners.
They appealed to the police boss to “order COMPOL Samuel Okaula to
immediately release all persons arrested in the wake of the latest round
of clashes between Abagana and Ukpo youth, as the youth of Abagana are
becoming restive with each passing day,” stressing, “alternatively they
should be charged to court.”
Aside urging the Inspector General of Police to “direct the take-over of
investigation into the most recent bout of violence on the Abagana-Ukpo
border as the Commissioner of Police Anambra and the aforementioned
officers have largely compromised their positions and can no longer be
trusted to conduct an impartial investigation,” the petition asked him to
“investigate Prince Arthur Eze for terrorizing the peace-loving people of
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