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Anambra Community Elders Protest Police Role in Property Tussle



By Praise Chinecherem

Elders of Uke community in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State have raised the alarm over alleged police interference in the property of a late businessman in the area.

The elders, under the aegis of Uke Elders’ Forum (UEF), who also alleged plot to deny the deceased’s widow (a Chinese) and her children of the late husband’s estate, called on Inspector General of Police, Baba Usman, to redeploy the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 13, Ukpo, Alhaji Muri Musa, who they accused of spearheading the plot.

They also called for the removal of Commander of Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Deputy Commissioner of Police, Olatunji  Disu, over what they termed obvious bias in recovering, sharing cum handling of late Hyginus Philip- Ekwosi’s assets.

The Elders also called on Police Service Commission (PSC), to immediately investigate the activities of the AIG zone 13 and the DCP IRT with a view to sanctioning them, if found culpable.

They said their call had become necessary following the undue interference and unprofessional manner they had handled the dispute in the Philip  -Ekwosi family of Uke over the property of late Hyginus Chukwunonso Philip- Ekwosi alias Udala.

Speaking on behalf of Uke Elders on Monday, the chairman, Chief Goddy Obiefuna frowned at the bias of the two senior police officers on the matter in  recovering the assets and cash of late Hyginus and handing them over to his last wife, Oluchukwu.

He decried  the way the police went  about  intimidating, harassing and incacerating the family members of Ekwosi with the connivance of the president-General General of Uke, Mr. Peter Onyeji, stressing that the way the two officers went about the whole exerce  left much to be desired as senior officers of the NIgeria Police.

He said, “Unfortunately Onyeji who did not attend the burial of Udala has suddenly turned around to become the devil’s advocate, taking Udala’s wife around  in order for her to  recover and take over all the assets of Udala to the detriment of the first and legally married wife, Li Y-uan( a Chinese), her children and other children of the deceased.

“AIG Muri and DCP Disu  claimed they were investigating the matter to protect the widow of Hyginus  but turned a blind eye to the fact which they know that the deceased has a legally wedded wife who is in  China with their  two children.

“They want to claim through their investigation that they are  not aware that Udala has two  other children, in all five children. What happens to these  other  four  children of Udala and his Chinese wife who was behind his wealth”?

“If  AIG Muri and DCP Disu recover all his assets and money and hand them over to his last wife with her only daughter what will others get?”

The elders said  police would not  be claiming to be investigating the matter when they recovered two trailers, shops, warehouses, cash,  others and handed them over to Oluchukwu in addition to three containers she had already cleared in Lagos and her flourishing business set up for her by the deceased in Lagos.

“They cannot also be investigating when they locked the family house of the Ekwosi in the village for several days  on two occassions, detained his younger brother Ifeanyi, seized his handsets which they have refused to return till now  and hacked his email account.

“They also detained his sister Etim Ginika Ekwosi, in all, police has displayed obvious partiality. They have been one sided in this matter. They have not shown fairness and capacity to do justice to all  in this  matter and therefore should hands off with immediate effect”,   the group stated.

The forum lauded the IGP for his wisdom and fair-mindedness in handing the matter to DCP Disu who instead of carrying out his job descretly clearly said he was following AIG, zone 13’s instruction by being obviously partisan in the case.

Also speaking, Secretary of the forum,  Ideh Innocent Echezona, said if the officers were sincere and neutral, they would not have handed over those assets and cash they recovered to  the last wife but keep it in a safe custody  for Hyginus’ children until whem the matter would be resolved.

He called on IGP to recover all the cash and assets handed over to the last wife of the deceased person and keep them until when this matter is amicably resolved.

Echezona also called on IGP to ensure that both officers withdrew from the matter since they had shown demonstrable bias and gone beyond their bounds, including locking the family house without a statutory order of the court.

He said, “The case as it is now is beyond the police, the community and any other body; iis only the court that can handle and resolve this matter.

Noting that Udala died instetate, the group said nobody had the right to administer his estate except the Chief Judge of the State who would issue  a letter of administration after due process must have been completed.

“It is only the court of competent jurisdiction, not police in whatever disguise can resolve this matter by determining how the assets and cash of Udala would be shared.There are  some court cases involving this  matter in High Court of Ogidi and Aguleri which should be allowed to go its  full course instead of this resort to brute force by the duo of AIG and DCP Disu.

Efforts to get the AIG for his reaction was abortive as he did not pick his calls. But in an earlier letter to the eldest siblings of the family, Reverend Father Cletus Ekwosi , the AIG had said, “The Police is investigating a case of multiple theft,  criminal conversion of property, stealing of over 10 cars , House breaking and theft of huge sums of money belonging to a deceased and his widow. 

“The principal  suspect, your brother who has already confessed to stealing over N10millon ,and breaking into the private apartment of the deceased to steal a safe which is already recovered, was released on your appeal and intervention and he is now on the run because we listened to you.

“The House of the deceased which was empty was sealed off  by the police to secure the remaining property and your sister went at Night  to jump into the House .

“My counsel to you is to inform Ifanyi to report back to police  and return everything he has stolen so we can bring this matter to a quick close . Your position and personality is expected to promote justice ,truth  and fairness in the society and not to give moral support to criminals however close they may be to you . 

“And if I may ask you sir,  how will you feel if the widow was your sister or daughter? Must she be oppressed and treated with ignominy simply because her husband was murdered? The house that was sealed had no occupants . 

“The police did not chase people out of the house which is the private residence of the deceased and his wife . The actions of the police so far is to protect these property from thieves and vandals.”

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