Residents of Enugu Ezike Community in Igbo Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State have petitioned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, over a Divisional Police Officer’s (DPO) alleged alliance with unknown gunmen.
The residents in the petition signed by Enugu Project Coordinator of the “If You See Something Say Something Project,” Emmanuel Joseph, accused the DPO of the Igbo Eze North Police Division of working with unknown gunmen who are terrorising and driving the residents out of their community.
In the statement titled, “An Intelligence Report on the DPO Igbo Eze North Police Division, Enugu State and His Covert Criminal Romance with Unknown Gunmen and their Corrupt Political Allies in Enugu Ezike Community of Enugu State: A Call for His Immediate Removal to Avert the Continuous Escalation of the Unmitigated and Yet Uncontrolled Volcano to Criminal Violence to the Security of Lives and Properties of the Inhabitants of the Area,” the petitioners called for IGP’s quick intervention to avoid total calamity.
The petition read partly, “We write on the strength of many verified reports from the records of overwhelming public opinion and other intelligence reports by our crack reporters that current DPO Igbo Eze North Police Division in Enugu State has a questionable rapport, suspicious sympathy and unholy alliance with some unknown gunmen operating in Enugu Ezike as well as their Corrupt Political godfathers and collaborators.
“This is a fact which was recently attested to by his totally strange and unbelievable response to petition against the activities of some gunmen terrorising the community which the Area Commander Udenu in charge of that area in the person ACP Ekwuekwe timeously endorsed to him for investigation precisely on the 24th day of June, 2022.
“In that petition, the informants gave a list of names of some gunmen in the community who armed with guns and matchets forcefully invaded their homes and ordered some residents on a family land in the community who are the inhabitants of their respective houses/homes in their village to vamoose forthwith from their houses/homes with all their household properties evacuated therefrom otherwise they will be cut down with bullets and matchets into dead bodies in their houses.
“For fear of falling victims to this bloody threats, the victims of this threat hurriedly evacuated all their household belongings instantly on that fateful day and vamoosed with every member of their family from the said house and resorted to a court of law by filing a suit against the named gunmen and their sponsors and patrons at the Enugu State High Court sitting at Enugu Ezike.
“It is pertinent to note here that the DPO Igbo Eze North Police Division in Enugu State formally acknowledged the receipt of this petition for the arrest of these gunmen and for the recovery of all their arms and prosecution in a court of law weeks before.
“But instead of taking action to arrest, investigate and prosecute the named gunmen in the petition, he rather instigated the gunmen and their political godfather, one Mr. David Atigwe, to come to his office and make a counter complaint of forcible entry and malicious damage by the complainants against the named gunmen so that he can successfully frustrate the petition against the gunmen and decline investigation in the case of unlawful possession of firearms and use of gun by gunmen to terrorize the community which was lodged via a well acknowledged petition by the complainants against the gunmen two weeks earlier.
“But instead, the said DPO arrested the complainants and charged them to court with the gunmen as their complainants.
“By this action, the said DPO clearly manifested a covert intention to sweep under the carpet the first report and petition against a more heinous offence of unlawful possession of firearms and use of guns by gunmen to terrorize innocent citizens of this community which was first endorsed to his office for investigation by the Area Commander Udenu Police Area Headquarters more than two weeks before that date.
“This is a dangerous omen which portends a grave negative implication against the effort of the State Government of Enugu State and of your administration of the Nigeria Police Force in the fight to rid the Enugu Ezike Community in Enugu State of the menace of criminal gangsters who masquerade as unknown gunmen in the community up till date.
“It was expected of the DPO to make a strategic use of that vital information by the complainants in this case to crack down on the arrow heads of the criminal cartel of the gunmen terrorising the community and who are responsible for all the ongoing blood bath with the blood of innocent citizens in the community today, but the DPO apparently compromised could not hide his sympathy and alliance with these criminal miscreants.
“He rather boldly betrayed his position as the leader of the fight against gunmen in that community even to the point of turning against the victims of the attack who are the complainants in the case.
“It is against this background that we rise to call on your office to urgently review the continued stay of this DPO at the Igbo Eze North Police Division.
“This intelligence report calls for a very discrete and decisive investigation in this matter and it is imperative that if the present war against the unknown gunmen which are currently wreaking havoc in Enugu Ezike Community must be won, then this DPO and any other police syndicate or sympathizer to the activities of gunmen in that community must be urgently remove and put on a strict security surveillance anywhere they are posted to.
“This is for your information and necessary action.”
Recall that Easterner had several times reported how gunmen were terrorising communities in different parts of Enugu State including Igbo Eze North Local Government Area, and particularly Enugu Ezike where it had been alleged that the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the security outfit of 5he Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has a camp. However, the Biafran group had denied the allegation, saying that those found in the alleged camp are indigenes of the communities working with some leaders of the communities.