Demolition without court order
A NON-GOVERNMENTAL organization, the Civil Rights Realization and Advancement Network (CRRAN) has petitioned the Police Service Commission over alleged demolition of properties in Enugu by the police in connivance with the Council chairman for Enugu East Local Council, Cornelius Nnaji.
The police was said to have been instigated by Nnaji to demolish the property of residents under development on Airport Road, Emene under the guise that they were being used by kidnappers as hideouts.
The petition dated August 30, 2015 was entitled: “Unlawful Demolition and Vandalization of Properties Belonging to Innocent Citizens by Policemen from Anti-kidnapping Base, Enugu at the instigation of Chairman, Enugu East Local Council and other Persons.”
When contacted, Nnaji, however, denied knowledge of the demolition. He also said he did not give approval for anybody to carry out any demolition on his behalf, adding that the story was strange to him.
He said: “I am not aware of this. I have nothing to do with this. Let them produce the authority given by me for the alleged demolition. It is confusing to me because I don’t have anything to do with them. I am not aware of the property or where the property was destroyed. They should look for people who demolished their property.”
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Enugu State, Ebere Amaraizu, also denied knowledge of police participation in the alleged demolition.
CRRAN said its investigation proved that the “operation was a collusion between the police and Cornelius Nnaji and his cohorts who had earlier made a false report to the Police at the Anti-Kidnapping Base that kidnappers were hiding in the area.”
“The complaint was a ploy to arrest the private security men guarding the area, who could have stopped the invaders from demolishing people’s properties. The arrested security men were taken into custody at the Anti-Kidnapping Base, Enugu while the bulldozers moved into operation in the presence of the invading policemen,” the petition stated.
CRRAN, which wondered when it became part of the duty of the police to be used to supervise the demolition of property belonging to people without a Court order, called for thorough investigation into the matter.
It also urged the Commission to bring the perpetrators of the crime to book.