…As Enugu lawmaker decries alleged invasion of constituency by Ebonyi communities***
Three dare-devil brothers have been arrested in connection with the murder of a woman in Abuja, just as three Ebonyi communities allegedly invade Enugu State, grabbing farmlands.
Force Public Relations Image maker, Mr Frank Mba indicated on Thursday in Abuja, that the suspects, from Isiekenesi, Ideato Local Government in Imo, were currently helping Police investigation into the May 14 murder of Mrs Janet Ogbonnaya, a mother of five children.
He said that the suspects were arrested by the Police in their home town where they had allegedly taken refuge after committing the crime in Abuja, to evade arrest.
Mba said that investigation that led to their arrest followed complaints by one Chinedu Ogbonnaya, who alleged that his mother, Janet, 55, a native of Ozuitem in Bende Local Government Area of Abia, had been kidnapped.
Ogbonnaya told the Police that N5 million ransom was being demanded by the kidnappers to secure the mother’s release.
“A comprehensive and painstaking investigation by Police operatives resulted in the arrest of the three suspects, who, in the course of interrogation, revealed that the victim had long been murdered and buried.
“Further findings revealed that the victim, a widow, who had been a Facebook friend of the principal suspect, was lured from her home in Gwagwalada, Abuja to visit the suspect.
“The suspect took advantage of the visit, served her milk laced with drugs, and subsequently murdered her,” he said.
According to him, the victim was buried in a septic tank after which the suspects went ahead to reach out to the family, using her phone, to demand N5 million ransom to secure her release.
Mba said that the suspects, on Thursday, led a team of investigators alongside pathologists to a residence at Wumba District, Lokogoma area of Abuja, where the victim’s decomposing body was exhumed from a septic tank.
The spokesman said that the exhumed body had been taken to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital for forensic examination, while a Toyota Highlander Jeep belonging to the deceased had also been recovered at a mechanic workshop in Apo, where it had been repainted into a different colour.
Mba said that the vehicle documents had been fraudulently changed with ownership of the stolen vehicle criminally transferred to one of the masterminds of the crime.
According to him, investigation also revealed that the house where the deceased was killed and buried originally belonged to one of the suspects but was hurriedly sold to a third party to obliterate evidence.
“Already, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, has commended the team of Police operatives for a job well done. He has also pledged that perpetrators of crimes will not go undetected and unpunished.
“The Police helmsman has also enjoined citizens to be more security conscious and report any suspicious activities within their neighbourhood to the nearest Police Station,” the statement said.
In the meantime, a member representing Aninri Constituency, in Enugu State House of Assembly, Chinedu Okwu has called on the state government to urgently intervene in the alleged invasion and destruction of houses and farmlands by some communities in Ebonyi.
Okwu, who made the call in a petition submitted to the House during plenary in Enugu on Thursday, listed the communities as Uburu, Akaeze and Ishiagu communities in Ebonyi.
He said that land grabbers from the three communities were claiming part of Aninri land, in spite of the obvious boundary features, adding that “they could not render any sustainable account of such claim.
“We complain in tears, about the unwarranted invasion, killing and maiming of our people by the three communities in Ebonyi, Uburu, Akaeze in Ohaozara and Ishiagu in Ivo Local Government Areas respectively, that share a common boundary with us.
“Shortly after their kinsman, His Excellency Mr David Umahi, became the governor of Ebonyi, they returned to our land with much more force and a new turn of claim.
“Initially, they were making individual claims of ownership of different parts of our land but now, they claim and act for and on behalf of Ebonyi government.
“They forcefully re-enter with tractors bearing the inscription, Ebonyi Government and destroyed our cassava, yam and rice farms respectively, spanning about 100 hectares and deforested our popular Egu-Nkwo, which over the years used to be the major source of our timber business,” he said.
The lawmaker alleged that Ebonyi government had entered into an agreement with a Chinese company for mining activities of the Led and Silicon deposits in the land.
“The company just started getting the revenue and other benefits accruable from the mining, which is supposed to be for Enugu State, and now is being enjoyed by the Ebonyi government.
“Our people are dying in pains, the thought of watching helplessly another state driving us out of our land and taking over by force our source of livelihood, when we also have a state government, is quite unbearable”, Okwu lamented.
Reacting, the Speaker, Ubosi urged the Deputy Governor, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, to dialogue with her counterpart in Ebonyi, to resolve the land encroachment issue amicably.
The House thereafter adjourned to June 11 for further legislative activities.