Ten Feared Dead, Five Kidnapped In Anambra Land Dispute - 7 months ago
Over 10 persons were feared dead while five others were allegedly abducted following hostility that erupted from a land dispute between Allah/Onugwu community in Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra state and their neighboring community, Odekpe in the same area. A police officer attached to Nzam Police Station was reported missing by the police authorities. While Allah/Onugwu community claimed loss of no fewer than seven persons, excluding five others who they alleged were abducted during the hostilities that lasted between April and June, Odekpe claimed to have lost an unspecified number of its indigenes to the clash. Some indigenes of Odekpe community, including its Igwe-elect, Peter Ikechi, were reportedly arrested by the Police over their alleged involvement in the missing of the police officer. An eight-man peace committee headed by traditional ruler of Igbariam community, Igwe Nkeli Nzekwe Kelly, with Dr. Emma Ude-Akpeh, Permanent Secretary in the office of the Secretary to the State Government, as its secretary has been set up by the state government to wade into the crisis and had since commenced work. Other members of the committee included Hon. Chinedu Obidigwe representing Anambra East/West in the national assembly, Hon. Udoba representing Anambra West in the state House of Assembly and the traditional rulers of Mmiata-Anam, Igwe Nnose; his Owelle Ancient Kingdom counterpart, Igwe Anthony Onyekwele and that of Ukwalla community, Igwe Ajodo. The committee reportedly invited representatives of the two warring communities and were informed of the release of those from Odekpe community arrested by the IGP’s Intelligence Response Team, IRT and detained in Abuja in connection with the missing police officer. The released persons, Ekene Godwin and Peter Ikechi, were handed over to their Odekpe kinsmen with a condition that there should be no more hostilities in the area, henceforth until peace is finally restored. Handing over the duo to Augustine Anara, a stakeholder from Odekpe, Igwe Kelly disclosed that the police authorities have pledged to drop the case in its entirety if violence no longer erupted in the area, adding that some of them still under the police custody would be released unconditionally as soon as peace returned to the areas.