Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Ukpo Community Mourns Victim of August 19 Attack

Image result for pictures of Igwe UKPOOkechukwu Onuegbu
Ukpo community in Dunukofia Local Council Area which was invaded by neighbouring Abagana community on August 19, has began mourning of one of its sons, Emmanuel Chigozie Okafor killed during the invasion.

The community has also commiserated with the Nigerian Police whose four personnel were wounded, some critically, that night when Abagana people attacked the community at about 1. am “in a terrorist manner”.

Giving their own side of the story in a press conference yesterday, the traditional ruler of Ukpo, Igwe Dr. Robert Eze, Okofia VI, and the President General Group Captain Benson Okoye (rtd), leading members of the kings cabinet said the land which was invaded by Abagana people on Auguts 19, 2016 legitimately belongs to Ukpo.

Igwe Eze told journalists that Ukpo and Nri were the owners of the area and that other communities came later as settlers. Even at that, he continued, Ukpo’s progenitors made boundaries with Abagana people and when later generation of Abagana disputed the boundaries and went to court, they lost the case.

He said he was aware that the land in question is not dragged by the whole Abagana people but particular war-like settlers known as Orofia which has been a thorn in the flesh of its neighbours.

“It is Abagana Orofia that has been causing trouble in this area, taking people’s land by force and by trick”, Igwe Eze said.

Elaborating on the issue, the President General, Group Capt. Okoye said that on November 16, 2011, Ukpo community got a perpetual injunction restraining Abagana people from further trespass on the parcel of land delineated in plan number MU/D6/96 which belongs to Ukpo. That was after 21 years of litigation on the land matter, he added.

According to him, even when Abagana community appealed against the judgment in suit No. CA/E/86/M/12, the appeal was struck out for want of prosecution by Hon. Justice AJ Abdul-kadir of the Appeal Court, Enugu division.

Okoye said that twice, Abagana major stake holders had come to Ukpo for settlement out of court and for that number of times, the settlement failed because the said Abagana people had insisted that the land be shared into two halves, a request Ukpo people turned down.

He regretted that despite knowing that the land does not belong to them, Abagana people had staged several violent attacks on peace-loving Ukpo people including the last one of August 19, “during which Ukpo was attacked in a terrorist  manner by Abagana people and some mercenaries with AK 47 riffles, bombs, dynamites and other deadly  weapons resulting to the losses”.

He said that Ukpo being peace loving and given the pedigree of its leaders had always followed due processes of the rule of law in tackling matters.

Ukpo’s lawyer, Chief I.M.Anah blamed Abagana attack on influence of men of sudden wealth in the community.

Abagana community had alleged that influential men from Ukpo bought the State Commissioner of Police over to arrest their illustrious sons over the attack but Ukpo community yesterday.

Chief Anah in his submission said: “to show that COMPOL Samuel Okaula is merely interested in meeting the justice of the case, he has even charged some of the culprits with others at large to court in charge numberMCU/43c/2016”.



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