Protests as residents cry out to IGP over Police brutality
Youths of the Isuaniocha community in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State have protested against what they call “incessant arrests of people from the community” by some police operatives in the state.
The youths numbering about 80 alleged that some persons in the community were using their wealth to invite police and other security operatives to intimidate, harass and arrest them without any notable crime committed.
The youths, who chanted solidarity songs, carried placards with various inscriptions during the protest, urged the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Alkali Baba Usman, to look into their plights and rescue them from the incessant unlawful arrests.
Addressing journalists, their spokesperson, Comrade Ozor Onyemazu Ngini, said that there has been crisis in the community since 2017 when Mr Tony Onyeagolu became the President General of the town, stressing that the crisis has led to the death of some people in the area and also caused the destruction of property worth millions.
“During that time we were calling police to come to our rescue, they did not listen, Anambra State police command under the administration of CP Garba Umar did not respond. Later we went to Abuja to report too. Later those suspected to have committed the murder ran away including the former president general. The matter was charged to court and there were allegations and counter-allegations, the matter was later struck out last month, March 2022.”
The youth leader claimed that upon observing that the community was making efforts to elect a new President General and have a traditional ruler, the same suspected people started using the police and other security agents to harass and intimidate him and others who are out to ensure that peace is returned to Isuaniocha.
“I will say that the police are the bane of this society, police know everything but they are paid to come and disorganised our community and they have been doing it. The person they have been using is one DSP Mathew Agu from Force CID Area 10, Abuja.
As it is now a lot of people are missing in Isuaniocha and more than one hundred names are still on their list for arrest. They even invaded my house, broke everywhere, took away my wife’s money and burnt some of my items.“
Mr Ngini said all the youths and other residents want is for the Commissioner of Police, Mr Echeng Echeng and the Anambra State Government to be aware of what is happening in the Isuaniocha Community where some persons are using few corrupt police officers to destabilize the peace of the community.
Reacting to the allegations, the former President General of Isuaniocha Mr Tony Onyeagolu, denied any involvement in the alleged killing of persons or destruction of property in the area noting that he was equally arrested by the police in 2020 and was in detention for 6 months and 2 weeks after which the matter was charged to court.
“I was arrested in government house, Awka when I saw the police, I did not run. I followed them, they detained me for six months and two weeks. I am not using any police to harass anybody, if the police invite them they should go and answer and stop using placards to cover their faces. Let them stop claiming what is not right.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ikenga Tochukwu in a swift reaction, advised the protesting youths to write an official letter to the command for their matter to be looked into.
According to the PPRO, the police only come to the aid of civilians to maintain law and order as well as to ensure that lives and property are protected.
“We want to use this medium to encourage the youths not to go to the streets if they have any complaints, they should write to us, the Commissioner of Police in Anambra State, CP Echeng Echeng is ready to listen to their complaints than them hitting the streets in protest which may be hijacked by hoodlums and their aim defeated.”