Saturday, February 20, 2021

Tension In Umunede As Zone 5 Police Officers Allegedly Open Fire On Mother Of Five.

Unless the Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration in Delta State and authorities of the Nigerian Police Force, Zone 5, Benin City, in charge of Edo and Delta States take urgent steps in addressing an alleged murder attempt on the Arum (Administrator), of Ilenobu Community, Mr. Ifeanyi Ikem and his wife, Mrs. Ebere, there would be a breakdown of law and order in Umunede kingdom, Ika north east local government area of the state.

This is coming on the heels of an age long disputed Ozoba Community land, lying on the right hand side of the express when coming from Umunede, which was purportedly sold by the people of Emuhu community, Agbor, Ika south local government areas of the state.

The renewed land dispute took a new dimension when police officers drafted from Zone 5, pulled down the window burglary of Mr. Ikem's residential house on No. 113 Old Umunede/Agbor Road, then Old Lagos/Agbor Road.

The officers who came in three vehicles on mufti numbering between five and six allegedly made unsuccessful efforts to dismantle the entrance burglary before scaling through the burgled window into the house but the wife, Mrs. Ebere, prevented them from taking the husband away after several hours of struggling, when the officers allegedly opened fire on the wife on both legs before help could come from community youths and family members.

Narrating his ordeal on the hands of the Zone 5 police officers on the fateful day, Thursday 18th February 2021, Mr. Ikem, said: "I just put off my generator so I could go to bed that night. I was about to lie down on my bed when I heard footsteps and my dog was barking when I saw two men, one was wearing complete native attire while the other was on Jean trouser on a Jean Jacket. They requested to know the occupants of the house but I kept quiet because I don't know them.

"So, my wife then asked from inside to know who they are. They replied her that she should call her husband that somebody is looking for him. My wife told them that her husband is already asleep. They asked is he the one that just off the generator that you are telling us is asleep? In the process of my wife interrogating them, they frequently mentioned one Sunny. They said we had some discussion and arrangements.

"My wife came in to ask me if I know anyone with the name Sunny, I said there is nothing like that. They walked away, got to where the well is located. One of them was pressing his phone, so I thought they gave them my number thinking that they would call me, I reached out to my phone and placed it on silent. Since I assume this Arum, many things have been going on and I have been watching them.

"So, after that my uncle came out and was questioning them on why they should come at this time to arrest someone. About three persons came back to my gate and were asking if I don't want to open the door. We will open it by force. Why are you telling us that he is sleeping whereas he is not sleeping. They kept shaking the front burglary. By then the window was opened because I wanted fresh air to come after I put off the generator.

"So, I decided to close it quietly. So, I thought they had gone, surprisingly, they returned and started forcing the glass on the window and they pulled down the burglary. I told my wife and children to shout. Their shouting made people to hear that something is happening around this area. Three men entered first, so we were struggling together. I saw them with guns and I thought within me that these people want to kill me.

"After the first three persons, another three entered through the window again, making it six, they kept dragging me. They opened the back door and we started struggling with each other including my wife. I asked them to tell me what I did before following them. They said there is something that I did. They said one Prince Paradise sent them that I destroyed car and building and I told them that I don't know anything about it.

"As they saw that people were coming, they started shooting gun and they were still dragging me but my wife didn't allow them to drag me away. So, they shoot her, as my wife was shouting I have been shot, I held onto them, they started shooting and they ran into their vehicles and zoomed off. They came with about three vehicles, one black Jeep, Tunder and one ash colour Sienna, that was what happened last night".

Also, the victim and wife of the Arum, who was shot Mrs. Ebere, hinted: "about 10:00pm and 11:00pm, two men came and knocked on our gate. When I came out, I asked them who they were and who they are looking for. They asked if my husband was around I said yes. They said I should go and go him that someone is looking for him.

"I told them that he has slept, they started shaking and forcing the gate. When they couldn't bring it down, they went to the window and succeeded in pulling it down. They were dragging my husband, as I was holding my husband to prevent them from taking him away, they shot me".

Meanwhile, Chief Azubuike and Chief Augustine Aghulor who spoke condemned in very strong terms the invasion of the residence of the Arum and the shooting of his wife, saying it was an alleged murder attempted on the couple just as they warned that the police and whoever contracted them would not get away with the act.

According to Chief Azubuike, "the Uncle, elder Ignatius Ikem came out and was shouting and asking them who they are. The invaders said they are policemen, before he could finished, they smashed the house, broke down the window and protestor, forced themselves inside the house, held him and tried to pull him out. The wife held the husband, we came out but in the heat of the scuffle, they shot the wife severally on both legs.

"They ran inside their car and drove away. The youths came out to the police station but the DCO told us that they are officers from Zone 5, on mufti. Eventually, the DCO accompanied them to Kifa Clinic and Maternity where the woman was treated".

Similarly, Chief Aghulor, said: "We were told that one of the persons who led them to this place is a manager of Prince Paradise. He bought our land without our knowledge. The matter is in Umunede High Court before it was transferred to Agbor. No warrant of arrest, they said they don't need any assistance from the Umunede police station.

"We are putting one Eze of Emuhu community, the owner of Prince Paradise Estate on notice that they are not going to get away with the mayhem on the Arum and his wife. Maybe, they want to intimidate us after acquiring a huge part of our land measuring 1000 plots from people who don't have the land".

Owner of Kifa Clinic and Maternity in Umunede, Dr. Ikifa, confirmed that they were at his hospital where he treated the victim of gun shot.

The Umunede Divisional Police Officer (DPO), declined comment when reached.

But the Assistant Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Edafe Bright, confirmed that the policemen were from Zone 5.

It was reliably gathered that the officers from Zone 5 officially inccidented their arrival at the Command's headquarters and the Umunede Divisional Police Station.

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