ENUGU STATE ACCUSED OF LAND GRABING IN UGWUAJI COMMUNITY

David Kalu

The Enugu state Government has been accused of forcefully hijacking community lands in Ugwuaji Autonomous Community, Enugu South Local Government of the state.

This accusation came through a letter raised by the Civil Liberty Organization (CLO) South East Chapter, in which they are pointing accusing finger on the Governor of Enugu State, Chief. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the State Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Vitus Okech, General Manager State Housing Development Corporation, Mr. Chuks Agu.

The organization also extended the accusation to Mr. Ozor, Mr. Nwodo Al’as Stainless.Also included were Mr. Mathew Nnyia, Joseph Onuh and Okafor Ugwu.

According to CLO the said Layout is a land of Ndiaga/Umunnugwu who called a surveyor firm KOR Surveying & Investment Company Limited owned by Surv. Raphael C. Chukwu to do a Layout of their lands and that he the Surveyor will be paid by percentage.

The letter went ahead to indicate that the Surveyor firm went into survey and mapping out the lands into Layout, creating roads while the mapping resulted to 1006 plots of lands, based on the agreement reached 18% of the 1006 plots and lands for expenditure.

According to the agreement reached in 2012 both the Surveyor firm and the villages agreed that the Surveyor bear all the expenditure on the survey and mapping of the Layout and to be paid in percentage through allocation of lands to him/his company.

The CLO further in saying that after the Surveyor was settled by the Community he worked for in 2013, a group from nearby village with the name Isiagu Youths Ugwuaji, raised issue in 2019 that the lands given to the Surveyor’s firm is theirs.

The CLO accused the Isiagu Youths of harassing the Survey firm staff, demolishing fence erected by the firm, creating obstruction to the firm from accessing and harnessing the fruit of their labour.

In an interaction Bende Analyst had with Surv. R. C. Chukwu, the Principal partner in KOR Surveying & Investment Company Ltd has have contract with the two villages in Ugwuaji, he stated that the Isiagu Youths are the stumbling block that are preventing his firm from utilizing the plots given to them for the work they did.

The genesis of the matter started in 2012 when the Ndiaga and Umunnugwu villages approached the Surveyor’s firm, KOR Surveying & Investment Company Limited, for a Private Partnership Project and the contract date dated 2012 was entered by both parties.

The contract was made between the KOR Company and the following: Sunday Ani, Ifekandu Edeh, Sunday Nwankwo, Ifeanyi Nfiaji, Ogbodo Ozoemena .A., Aniagu Okwudiri, Eneh Chizoba, Ogbodo Emmanuel, Atu Chimobi, Okoh Henry .O., Aninwene Bonaventure, Ugwu Gideon and Agbo Don Luky who signed for themselves and on behalf of the Umunnugwu and Nidaga families/villages.

The term of agreement was 18%; the calculation was 18% of 1006 which is 181 and another four(4) plots given for expenditure, making the plots 185.

Having done the job and in fulfillment of terms of the contract, a Deed of Assignment was entered into in 2013. The Deed of Assignment was made between KOR Surveying & Investment Company Limited and the representatives of Umunnugwu and Ndiaga Villages and Families, in respect of the 185 (One Hundred and Eight Five) Plots.

The claim of the Isiagu Youths on the land started the trouble. During the interview Surv. Chukwu stated that the Isiagu people have no right over the land they are claiming, as it does not belong to them.

According to him, the boundary between Valley Layout of Isiagu (E/378) and Umunnugwu/Ndiaga Layout (E/412) is a 12 meter road, pointing out that the Isiagu Village have sold their own lands known as Valley Layout to the Academic Staff Union of University(ASUU), UNN Chapter.

Surv. Chukwu stated that the crisis started on January 28, 2020, when he sent his staff to the site to replant survey beacons removed by unknown persons. While the workers and the clients were on the site 4 Isiagu Youths came and armed with short guns confiscated the workers Survey equipments (TOTAL STATION) and drove them away. Those that came are: Maduabuchi Egbo, Uchenna Agwu, Nnanna Ugwu and Chidiebere okorie.

The encroachment by the Isiagu Youths did not go down well with the Umunnugwu Youths who are co-owners of the Ndiaga/Ummunugwu layout.

In an interaction with the Youth Chairman Umunnugwu community, Hon. Daniel Ani, he stated that when the lsiagu youths went into encroachment of the land, Umunnugwu youths called the lsiagu youths to order.

They tried to reason with them on the need for peace to reign, but they refused to listen instead the lsiagu youths came to Umunnugwu destroyed things and caused havoc in the Community.

The Youths Chairman went ahead to say that instead of them the Umunnugwu Youths to fight back, they wrote petition to the IRT of the IGP of Enugu office , some men were sent and two people were arrested Prince Uchenna igwedinma and Mr. lsaiah Ogbodo, the arrested people who are from lsiagu at the Police station pleaded that there should be settlement, promising that there would be no more trouble, it was agreed that peace should reign.

In January 2020, the Isiagu Youths started planning another attack on Umunnugwu community. This led to the Umunnugwu people going back to the IRT Enugu where they had earlier reported the matter.

On the day that the IRT visited lsiagu, they the lsiagu Youths were holding meeting, the IRT decided not to interrupt the meeting and the police men entered their vehicle and started leaving.

According to the Youths leader who was the person who went with the Police to lsiagu, as the Police vehicle was about to move the lsiagu youths started throwing stones and bottles on the Police vehicle and also fired guns shot. Mr. Ani said that it was the gun shots that made the Police to go on self defense and that after the whole thing that day, there was no arrest or death.

Few days after the crisis, the lsiagu people came up with the claim that two of their sons were killed during the crisis.

They the lsiagu people reported to the Police and arrest were made, people arrested were from Umunnugwu were about six in number.

After about five to six days of the arrest, the Umunnugwu people went to Abuja, with the Police men from the IRT who came to lsiagu, the Umunnugwu told the Police in Abuja their own side of the story, showed evidence of pictures of damages done by the lsiagu youths when they came to Umunnugwu to cause havoc.

He went ahead to state that the Police men from IRT equally told the Police in Abuja that it was the lsiagu youths that attacked them first with stones/ bottles and later started firing bullets on the Police, they even brought along with them and showed the vehicle that they went with during the operation with and raided with bullet holes, saying that they the Police fired back in self defence and that there was no causalty or arrest.

Still from Surv. Chukwu’s earlier interview, he pointed out that when the Isiagu Youths snatched working equipment from his workers, the matter was reported to the Independence Layout Police Station, Enugu,on 28th January 2020 and for two weeks no arrest was made, but rather the Isiagu Youths wrote a petition to the Commissioner of Police, Enugu State, accusing Sur. Chukwu (fnis) of intimidation and forgery of land documents, when the Enugu State Central Investigation Department (CID) whom the State Commissioner of Police assigned the matter to, called for an interview with both parties, the Isiagu Youths failed to honor the invitation of the police whom they petitioned to.

When the encroachment of the Isiagu Youths continued to March, 2020, KOR Company contracted FAF Constructions to fence her plots . The construction company, in seeking security, wrote the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, requesting for the service of the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU), the letter was dated 17th March 2020. Another letter dated 30th March still on security, was written by the same construction company to Commanding Officer of the 103 Battlion, Nigeria Army, asking for soldiers.

While the security men are on duty, the Youths will not come for confrontation, but as soon as the security personnel leaves, the Youths would come and destroy the fence erected by the FAF Construction Company.

That aside on the letter written by the FAF Construction Company to the 103 Battlion, KOR Surveying & Investment Company Limited wrote a letter dated 18th May, 2020 to the GOC 82 Division Enugu for Army security at the site. The reply of the letter dated 22nd May, 2020 with reference number 82DIV/EI/300/74 and signed by col. CBO Waziri, was negative.

Having seen that the Police in Enugu would not curtail the activities of the Isiagu Youths, a petition was then forwarded to Inspector General of Police on malicious damage, threat to life and criminal conspiracy, the IGP assigned the investigation of the job to Special Tactical Squad (STS), Abuja Office.

The STS sent invitation to the Youths and came to Enugu from Abuja thrice to meet the lsiagu Youths without success.

The STS decided to go tracking of the Youths . In a meeting somewhere at Ogbuodo Layout, Enugu, some people were arrests on 27th May, 2020 and moved to Enugu SARS. At the SARS Office three of them were singled out and taken to Abuja; they are (1). Matthew Nyia (2). Okafor Ugwu (3). Joseph Onu, all from Isiagu Village.

On the killing of the said Isiagu Youths, Hon. Ani in an interaction with Bende Analyst stated that it was the Umunnugwu Youths who invited the Police over the encroachment into their Layouts, and not Surveyor Chukwu or KOR Company. He, Hon. Ani noted that Isiagu Youths and their Sponsors, including the three arrested on 27th May, 2020, have been encroaching on different parts of Umunnugwu/Ndiaga Layout (E/412) as well as Achionaa Layout Phase II Extension, lying across the High Tension Power Lines in the north of Valley Layout (E/378). For this, Isiagu Youths had issue with Umunnugwu Youths who reported the former to the Police.

Based on a counter petition written by Isiagu Youths and their sponsors dated 2nd June, 2020 on the already matter being investigated by the IRT Abuja on the murder case of January 14, 2020, the IGP directed the new petition to another team of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), who had earlier gone into investigating the case based on the petition raised by the Umunnugwu . The new team of IRT arrested Surv. Chukwu on 10th June, 2020 and took him to Abuja.

While the STS, from the IGP Office, is working on the case reported by Surv. Chukwu, the IRT is working on the petition from the Isiagu Youths and this can be seen through letters with reference numbers: The letter of the IRT, Ref, No. CR: 3000/FHQ/IRT/ABJ/ADM/VOL.B3/451, signed by DCP John Onyima on behalf of the IRT Police Head Quarter, dated 15th June, 2020.

The STS letter reference number AR:3000/IGP.SEC/STS/FHQ/ABJ/T.A/VOL.19/223 and dated 28th/5/2020, the letter from the STS was signed by DCP Kolo Yusuf, Deputy Commissioner of Police IGP Special Tactical Squad.

The two Departments were still battling with the case when the Isiagu Youths wrote another petition on the same case of killing two Isiagu Youths. This time, the case was assigned to the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F- SARS).

This one case going into three departments in the Office of the IGP, and this was after the Enugu State Police command and the Army failed to handle the matter.

The team came into Enugu on the 2nd July, 2020 and arrested Surv. Chukwu in a manner that berated Police Profession on the same allegation of killing the lsiagu youths.

It was learnt, that during the last arrest an order was given that IRT should hand over their investigation to the FSARS as to have one single file for the killing allegation raised by the Isiagu Youths against Surv. Chukwu,while the STS is to continue, Surveyor Chukwu’s petition against Isiagu Youths.

The encroachment by the Isiagu Youths did not go down well with the Umunnugwu Youths who are co-owners of the Ndiaga/Ummunugwu layout.

In an interaction with the Youth Chairman Umunnugwu community, Hon. Daniel Ani, he stated that when the lsiagu youths went into encroachment of the land, Umunnugwu youths called the lsiagu youths to order.

They tried to reason with them on the need for peace to reign, but they refused to listen instead the lsiagu youths came to Umunnugwu destroyed things and caused havoc in the Community.

The Youths Chairman went ahead to say that instead of them the Umunnugwu Youths to fight back, they wrote petition to the IRT of the IGP of Enugu office , some men were sent and two people were arrested Prince Uchenna igwedinma and Mr. lsaiah Ogbodo, the arrested people who are from lsiagu at the Police station pleaded that there should be settlement, promising that there would be no more trouble, it was agreed that peace should reign.

In January 2020, the Isiagu Youths started planning another attack on Umunnugwu community. This led to the Umunnugwu people going back to the IRT Enugu where they had earlier reported the matter.

On the day that the IRT visited lsiagu, they the lsiagu Youths were holding meeting, the IRT decided not to interrupt the meeting and the police men entered their vehicle and started leaving.

According to the Youths leader who was the person who went with the Police to lsiagu, as the Police vehicle was about to move the lsiagu youths started throwing stones and bottles on the Police vehicle and also fired guns shot. Mr. Ani said that it was the gun shots that made the Police to go on self defense and that after the whole thing that day, there was no arrest or death.

Few days after the crisis, the lsiagu people came up with the claim that two of their sons were killed during the crisis.

They the lsiagu people reported to the Police and arrest were made, people arrested were from Umunnugwu were about six in number.

After about five to six days of the arrest, the Umunnugwu people went to Abuja, with the Police men from the IRT who came to lsiagu, the Umunnugwu told the Police in Abuja their own side of the story, showed evidence of pictures of damages done by the lsiagu youths when they came to Umunnugwu to cause havoc.

He went ahead to state that the Police men from IRT equally told the Police in Abuja that it was the lsiagu youths that attacked them first with stones/ bottles and later started firing bullets on the Police, they even brought along with them and showed the vehicle that they went with during the operation with and raided with bullet holes, saying that they the Police fired back in self defence and that there was no causalty or arrest.

Still from Surv. Chukwu’s earlier interview, he pointed out that when the Isiagu Youths snatched working equipment from his workers, the matter was reported to the Independence Layout Police Station, Enugu,on 28th January 2020 and for two weeks no arrest was made, but rather the Isiagu Youths wrote a petition to the Commissioner of Police, Enugu State, accusing Sur. Chukwu (fnis) of intimidation and forgery of land documents, when the Enugu State Central Investigation Department (CID) whom the State Commissioner of Police assigned the matter to, called for an interview with both parties, the Isiagu Youths failed to honor the invitation of the police whom they petitioned to.

When the encroachment of the Isiagu Youths continued to March, 2020, KOR Company contracted FAF Constructions to fence her plots . The construction company, in seeking security, wrote the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, requesting for the service of the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU), the letter was dated 17th March 2020. Another letter dated 30th March still on security, was written by the same construction company to Commanding Officer of the 103 Battlion, Nigeria Army, asking for soldiers.

While the security men are on duty, the Youths will not come for confrontation, but as soon as the security personnel leaves, the Youths would come and destroy the fence erected by the FAF Construction Company.

That aside on the letter written by the FAF Construction Company to the 103 Battlion, KOR Surveying & Investment Company Limited wrote a letter dated 18th May, 2020 to the GOC 82 Division Enugu for Army security at the site. The reply of the letter dated 22nd May, 2020 with reference number 82DIV/EI/300/74 and signed by col. CBO Waziri, was negative.

Having seen that the Police in Enugu would not curtail the activities of the Isiagu Youths, a petition was then forwarded to Inspector General of Police on malicious damage, threat to life and criminal conspiracy, the IGP assigned the investigation of the job to Special Tactical Squad (STS), Abuja Office.

The STS sent invitation to the Youths and came to Enugu from Abuja thrice to meet the lsiagu Youths without success.

The STS decided to go tracking of the Youths . In a meeting somewhere at Ogbuodo Layout, Enugu, some people were arrests on 27th May, 2020 and moved to Enugu SARS. At the SARS Office three of them were singled out and taken to Abuja; they are (1). Matthew Nyia (2). Okafor Ugwu (3). Joseph Onu, all from Isiagu Village.

On the killing of the said Isiagu Youths, Hon. Ani in an interaction with Bende Analyst stated that it was the Umunnugwu Youths who invited the Police over the encroachment into their Layouts, and not Surveyor Chukwu or KOR Company. He, Hon. Ani noted that Isiagu Youths and their Sponsors, including the three arrested on 27th May, 2020, have been encroaching on different parts of Umunnugwu/Ndiaga Layout (E/412) as well as Achionaa Layout Phase II Extension, lying across the High Tension Power Lines in the north of Valley Layout (E/378). For this, Isiagu Youths had issue with Umunnugwu Youths who reported the former to the Police.

Based on a counter petition written by Isiagu Youths and their sponsors dated 2nd June, 2020 on the already matter being investigated by the IRT Abuja on the murder case of January 14, 2020, the IGP directed the new petition to another team of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), who had earlier gone into investigating the case based on the petition raised by the Umunnugwu . The new team of IRT arrested Surv. Chukwu on 10th June, 2020 and took him to Abuja.

While the STS, from the IGP Office, is working on the case reported by Surv. Chukwu, the IRT is working on the petition from the Isiagu Youths and this can be seen through letters with reference numbers: The letter of the IRT, Ref, No. CR: 3000/FHQ/IRT/ABJ/ADM/VOL.B3/451, signed by DCP John Onyima on behalf of the IRT Police Head Quarter, dated 15th June, 2020.

The STS letter reference number AR:3000/IGP.SEC/STS/FHQ/ABJ/T.A/VOL.19/223 and dated 28th/5/2020, the letter from the STS was signed by DCP Kolo Yusuf, Deputy Commissioner of Police IGP Special Tactical Squad.

The two Departments were still battling with the case when the Isiagu Youths wrote another petition on the same case of killing two Isiagu Youths. This time, the case was assigned to the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F- SARS).

This one case going into three departments in the Office of the IGP, and this was after the Enugu State Police command and the Army failed to handle the matter.

The team came into Enugu on the 2nd July, 2020 and arrested Surv. Chukwu in a manner that berated Police Profession on the same allegation of killing the lsiagu youths.

It was learnt, that during the last arrest an order was given that IRT should hand over their investigation to the FSARS as to have one single file for the killing allegation raised by the Isiagu Youths against Surv. Chukwu,while the STS is to continue, Surveyor Chukwu’s petition against Isiagu Youths.

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