Reps intervene in Enugu community land dispute

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By Aaron Ossai

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions has intervened in the land dispute between the Obeagu and Amechi-Uwani Awkunanaw communities and the developers of Private Estates International West Africa limited (PEIWA) in Enugu South Local Government Area of the state.

The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Mike Etaba who said the intervention is part of ongoing effort to keep the peace area assured the warring groups that justice would be served on the matter.

Etaba who presided over the proceedings of the Committee promised to ascertain if any court in Enugu state had adjudicated on the matter before now.

He spoke against the backdrop of claim by the rulers, kindred families of Amechi Uwani and Obeagu Awkunanaw of Enugu South LGA, Enugu State, that the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Akinbayo Olasoji of the Enugu State Command be held responsible for the alleged attempt to grab the disputed Enugu Centenary City land in breach of laid down provisions of the law.

The aggrieved community leaders also pointed accusing fingers at SP Chidiebere Ijeoma and Uche Anya of the Enugu Capital Territory over committal of the alleged infraction.

They urged the Committee to ensure urgent actions against the alleged excesses of the police officers, who have allegedly provided the land grabbers with police cover to ceaselessly harass, intimidate and unjustifiably hound their members to prison on trumped up charges.

The communities described the Committee as their last hope in the face of the most vicious land grabbing spree, and illegal acquisition of their ancestral lands by PEIWA, led by one Kingsley Eze with his armed thugs, some persons in police uniform; the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA), led by Uche Anya.

They thereby urged the lawmakers to cause the IGP to direct the Department of Force Intelligence (DFI), and Zone 13 Command, to charge to court all cases reported and investigations concluded against the land grabbers and their hirelings, in order to serve as a deterrent to others in the future.

“Our anguish and pain goes beyond the demolitions unleashed on us, we were more alarmed with the gruesome murder of a police officer, Inspector Celestine Orodiovwe of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) Annex, Enugu, in December 2021, who was investigating the case we reported against those we can describe as some hirelings of PEIWA,” they claimed.

“Between 2021 and 2022, there was an alarming spate of heinous crimes, particularly unresolved cases of murder especially the murder of Chidera Ogaba, Comrade Kelvin Ezeoha, among others”, they added.