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Demolition of visually impaired man’s house: Police alleged compromise upsets Enugu community

An Abuja-based lawyer, Barr Ejike Ugwu has accused the police of compromise in their handling of a case involving a visually impaired man, Elder Anibueze Nnadi Ozor, an indigene of Enugu State.

Ugwu said if the actions of the police officers involved were not checkmated, peace was under threat in the victim’s community.

Anibueze is from Ihekwuenu-Aku Autonomous Community, Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State.

DAILY POST recalls that Anibueze’s house was demolished on the alleged orders of the former traditional ruler of the community, Chief Christopher Ozor.

The incident, which attracted outrage in 2021, led to the suspension of the traditional ruler by then Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

The house, which was later rebuilt by some good Samaritans, was brought down again by the same people.

However, three years after, the case is yet to make any appreciable progress despite several letters written by the victim’s counsel to the police hierarchy.

DAILY POST equally recalls that in November 2023, the Enugu State chapter of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, JONAPWD, demanded justice over the demolition of the 66-year-old visually impaired man’s house.

They made the demand during a press conference addressed by the chairman of JONAPWD, Enugu State, Comrade Onyebuchi Mba.

In a recent letter addressed to the Deputy Inspector General of Police, the lawyer accused the team working under the Commissioner of Police, Admin, PSFU, of compromising investigation on the matter.

He recalled in the letter that in a petition dated 20/09/2021, a case of alleged “Cultism, Burglary, Unlawful Possession of Firearms, Malicious Damage to Dwelling House and Attempted Murder”, was filed against Messrs. Chinonso Okwor, Ifunanya Okwor, Kenechukwu Ani, One Sammy and others, as well as Mr. Christopher Okwor, the suspended Traditional Ruler.

The lawyer claimed in the petition that one Kenechukwu Ani was arrested at the scene and he confessed to the following:

“That he was contacted by one Sammy, who works with the two sons of the suspended Igwe.

“That he was at the scene when the demolition was carried out and he mentioned some names, including the sons of the suspended Igwe.

“That they were all armed, and that they maliciously damaged the dwelling house of the visual impaired man.”

Ugwu, however, expressed regret that despite having the knowledge of the confession of the suspect arrested at the scene of the crime, “the officers after arresting the alleged sponsor, Mr. Christopher Okwor released him inside Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.

“The officers played down on the investigation to enable the suspended Igwe to send his children outside the country and enable the suspended Igwe to commence different cases within your watch leaving the main case unattended.

“Mr. Christopher Okwor was suspended by the Enugu State Government upon discovery of his role and involvement in the case and asked that a diligent investigation be carried out.

“There are two different cases before the FCIID Annex, Enugu currently by Mr. Christopher Okwor. He has been harassing our client and anybody perceived to be against his action.

“There is also another petition before the Police Special Fraud Unit on the same subject matter at Area 10, Abuja.

“The duplication of the case file should be frowned at, condemned and be discontinued as it is a strategy deployed by the suspended Igwe to frustrate investigation and find a way of lifting his suspension by all means.

“The visually impaired man till date is left to be sleeping outside and exposed to danger as the target of the suspended Igwe is to send him to an early grave and take over his land.”

The lawyer told the Deputy IGP that “the action and inaction of the men of CP Admin if not checked may lead to parties resorting to self-help and that will lead to breakdown of Public Peace.”

He urged the Police Chief to “use your good offices to order an immediate harmonization of the case file to a team that will be neutral to all parties and conclude investigation and ensure that all culprits are brought to book.”

Efforts to obtain reaction from the police did not yield result as of the time of filing this report.

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