10 Feared Dead, Police Officer Missing In Anambra Land Dispute
No fewer than 10 persons were feared dead and a police officer attached to Nzam Police station was declared missing by the police authorities following a hostility between Allah/Onugwu community and the neighbouring Odekpe community both in Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The hostility erupted from a land dispute and lasted between April and June 2020.
Allah/Onugwu community claim that they have so far lost about seven persons to the war, excluding five others who they allege were abducted during the hostilities, while Odekpe also claimed it has lost an unspecified number of its indigenes to the clash.
Police authorities arrested some indigenes of Odekpe community, including its Igwe-elect, Peter Ikechi for their alleged involvement in the missing of a police officer attached to Nzam Police Division.
To forestall further hostilities, the state government set up an eight-man peace committee to look into the crisis with a view to resolving it amicably and the committee had already swung into action to discharge its civic responsibilities.
The committee is headed by a first class royal father and traditional ruler of Igbariam community in Anambra East Local government Area of the state, Igwe Nkeli Nzekwe Kelly, with Dr. Emma Ude-Akpeh, the Permanent Secretary in the office of the Secretary to the State Government as its secretary.
At the weekend, the committee invited representatives of the two warring communities to the Palace of Igwe Kelly of Igabriam, chairman of the committee and informed them that the committee has been able to secure the release of those from Odekpe community arrested by the IGP’s Intelligence Response Team, IRT, and detained in Abuja in connection with the missing police officer.
The committee therefore handed the two Odekpe indigenes released by the police, Ekene Godwin and Peter Ikechi, over to their Odekpe kinsmen with a condition that there should be no more hostilities in the area until peace is restored.
Igwe Kelly further disclosed that the police authorities have pledged to drop the case in its entirety if violence no longer erupted in the area, adding that some of them who are still under the police custody would be released unconditionally as soon as peace returned to the areas.