ABBA COMMUNITY UNDER SIEGE



While other climes and societies seem to be making progressive development, Nigeria appears to have made covenant with retrogressive progression. The Nigerian Police have become above the law of the land where court injunctions and restraining orders are disobeyed at will. The lawlessness of the Nigerian Police has assumed an alarming dimension where Nigerians who are supposed to be protected by the Force have become victims of intimidation, harassment and extortion.

By 03:05am Nigerian time, the Nigerian Police under the command of Mr. John Abang, the Commissioner of Police in Anambra State decided to make himself a willing tool of intimidation and victimization. The house of Engr. Benjamin C. Anaekwe, the President General of Abba Town Union has been held siege by men of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), this is not unconnected with the land dispute between Abba and Ukpo communities. Ironically, the matter is before a competent court of law which is yet to determine the true ownership of the land under dispute between the two neighbouring communities.

The last court judgment delivered on the disputed land was by the Supreme Court in September 2019 where parties were asked to maintain status quo and return to the High Court for a fresh trial of the case as it was perceived that there was miscarriage of justice at the Court of Appeal. Abba community has since returned to the High Court to prove her true ownership of the land, but Prince Arthur Eze who is the arrowhead of Ukpo community in the land dispute in concert with the Anambra State Commissioner of Police have resorted to several unlawful arrests and detention of the people of Abba community in view to intimidate them into giving up on the disputed land.

Abba community in the light of this development resorted to a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, presided by Hon. Justice J. K. Omotosho in suit No: FHC/PH/188/2019 on 13th September 2019 where a restraining order was given to the Nigeria Police and her agents to restrain from further unlawful arrest and detention of the people of Abba community until such order have been vacated by the court.



Unfortunately, while this court order is still subsisting and yet to be vacated, the Nigerian Police and Prince Arthur Eze through the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Awkuzu have made several unlawful arrests and detention of the people of Abba community. Most recently, precisely on 4th November, 2019, one of the leading critics against the unlawful arrest and detention of the people of Abba community, Ichie Obinna Chukwuma and three others were arrest and detained by operatives of SARS. Until this day, none of these persons have been charged to court for any offence or crime.

This morning, Mr. John Abang directed his men to arrest the President General of Abba Town Union, Engr. Benjamin C. Anaekwe. As at the time of filing this report, the Nigerian Police is still laying siege around the house of Engr. Anaekwe in Awka, Anambra State. There are insinuations that the present siege by the Nigerian Police in Engr. Anaekwe’s house was to coarse him into signing some documents against his will which will cede the disputed land to Prince Arthur Eze of Ukpo.

Dr. Nwankwo A. Obidigbo
(Reporting from Abba Community in Anambra State)

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