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Anambra man alleges conspiracy to takeover property, urges Gov Soludo to intervene

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By Lawrence Nwimo

A man named Mr. Ugochukwu Nwankwo is appealing to Anambra state governor, Prof. Charles Soludo to intervene in an unlawful attempt to dispossess him and his family of their landed property. According to him, the issue is breeding crisis, greed and disharmony among the people of his kindred.

Ugochukwu is a native of Umunnebo village, Ufuma in Orumba North local government area, Anambra state and the second son of late Ichie Dennis Ibiefune Nwankwo. He said he was detained at Anambra State Police Headquarters on the 23rd day of March, 2022, after a petition was written against him and his brothers for alleged kidnap plan and physical abuse of a certain man from the kindred

He said the contents of the petition was false, denying that he was neither a kidnapper nor had ever indulged in any act that would warrant his arrest and punishments. He said the allegations were orchestrated by some mischief makers in his kindred who, he said, had been fomenting troubles and trying to take possession of some landed property and economic trees belonging to his family.

Ugochukwu, who disclosed that he was released after meeting some bail conditions, said he had been in perpetual fear over his life and that of his family members since his release. He also said his arrest was orchestrated by an elder in his kindred who carried out the action to cajole him from fighting for his lawful right because his family landed property was invaded by the said elder claiming ownership of the land.

Ugochukwu, who is the second son of his mother’s three sons, narrated how trouble started after the demise of his mother in 2019, when a certain man started encroaching into the land that belonged to the family where his late mother farmed before she developed health challenges.

He alleged that the man, an elder in the kindred, was conniving with other elders of his kindred to deprive the family their land because the mother was late. He also claimed that the said person alongside other elders had sold and leased out numerous lands belonging to the Nwankwo-ejeh family.

Ugochukwu noted that efforts made by his family to stop the brewing culture landed him into several attacks and accusations including that he was trying to kidnap and maim elders in the kindred. He also lamented that the elders accused him of preparing charms for kidnappers and other criminals in the state because of his work as a traditional medicine practitioner.

He said, “I returned from Aba in 2012 when I finished my school programme to base in my village and to take care of my mother seeing that my other siblings were all based abroad. 

“My mother later had a stroke in 2017 and died in 2019. Since her death, I have not had peace in the neighbourhood as the elders started encroaching into our family landed properties. They started leasing and selling our land that generally belonged to us.

“One of the elders claimed that our land belonged to him and harvested crops left by my mother and even destroyed economic trees planted in the land. He had at one point instructed my family to hands-off from the land claiming that it belonged to him.

“Around 2013 that our backyard fence fell, we came back to reconstruct it and to possibly extend it to cover my mother’s farmland, he went and reported us to Ajalli police station and not finished with that, he summoned his cohort at my absence that they want to demarcate the land of which I told them I was in Aba.”

Mr Ugochukwu recalled that his mother’s first son, Mr  Ikeokwu Nwankwo who lives overseas, made efforts to reconcile the matter but the elders never showed up at the meeting he organized to find a solution.

“My elder brother came back from London on a two-weeks break last December and called for resolution of the issue  but the elders all failed to show up before he travelled back at the expiration of his break.

“The issue lingered on until 23rd March, around 5:  am, about eight persons with guns arrived our house and started banging at our gate. I sent my younger brother to go and meet them and he got  information that they were police officers sent to arrest me. They asked me to enter their bus after showing me an invitation written ‘Fact finding’. 

“I went to the state CID as invited with our family lawyer, there, I found the petition some elders in our kindred wrote against me, my oversea elder brother, and my younger brother, Ikedi Nwankwo, alleging that I and my siblings beat and planned to kidnap one of the elders of the kindred”.

He said the conspiracy was masterminded by some elders in his kindred who he accused to had repeatedly sold and leased out lands that belonged to the family of Nwankwo -ejeh, their fore-father.

Ugochukwu said he never attacked anyone in the kindred and that he only protested and faulted the decision of ‘Umunna’ on the matter. He also claimed that the intention of the petitioners was to cow him and make him relinquish the family property to them. 

Other family members, Mrs. Veronica Chizoba and Mrs. Egeonu Uchechukwu, said their mother cultivates the land every year before her eventual demise. They also explained that their brother was not a kidnapper but was just being intimidated because of standing on their rights.

All efforts made to hear from the elders of the kindred proved futile as they all declined interviews. 

Meanwhile, Chairman of Umunnebo village, Peter Idembara Okafor said no official report was sent to him on the matter and that the accusation of beating and attempted kidnap was false.

“No one complained to me about any attack. I am surprised to hear that somebody was attacked in this village I live in because there is no proof”, he said.

In a telephone conversation, counsel to the Nwankwo family, Barrister Obinna Anozodo said his client was arrested and was served a petition alleging attempted kidnapping and physical assault. The counsel said the petitioner   fabricated lies to the police for personal interest and that the result of the police investigation will inform their next line of action concerning the allegations.

Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Anambra State Police Command, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, said the investigation was on and promised to get back afterwards.

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