Enugu: Tears as judicial commission visits crisis-torn Ogbozinne community

Tears freely flowed yesterday as natives of the crisis ridden Ogbozinne-Akpugo community in Nkanu West Council Area of Enugu state, took turn to narrate their ordeal in the hands of suspected arsonists, who invaded the community, following the death of its traditional ruler, Igwe Stephen Nwatu.

This is as the Chairman of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the disturbances in the community, Justice Ben Agbata (rtd) asked the Police to desist from further arrest of the natives, while calling on those that fled the community for fear of arrest to return home and live in peace and harmony.

The invaders, who looted property and set several buildings ablaze were said to have stormed the community in the midnight of July 11, this year with over eight hilux vans loaded with heavily armed persons and were led by an alleged member of the late Monarch’s cabinet.

This disclosure was made when members of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the disturbances in the community visited the area in continuation of efforts to unravel the cause of the crisis in the community.

The crisis in the community climaxed on July 11 when the monarch, Igwe Stephen Nwatu was allegedly mobbed to death, leading to a wild reaction from persons said to be in sympathy with him. The development led to destruction of property with residents fleeing to safety for fear of being arrested or killed by gun wielding persons, who stormed the community.

But the community came alive yesterday as the Commission of Inquiry members visited the area to see and ascertain the extent of destruction. The panel visited the residence of Rev. Joseph Okenwa, Uchenna Nwobodo, Mrs Roseline Nnamani, Mrs Comfort Okenwa, Henry Nnamani and Emmanuel Nwatu Ede.

Mrs. Comfort Nwobodo had lamented how her 17 year old son, Chinedu, a student of Ecumenical Secondary School was arrested in Lagos, where he had gone to see the brother Uchenna and had been remanded in prison custody since then.

Conducting the Commission round her son’s one storey building that was looted and sent ablaze, she stated that she escaped through the back door with her husband when the hoodlums invaded their building.

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Igwe Stephen Nwatu
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