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News - South East - Enugu Updated: December 06, 2022

Enugu Communities Dismiss Petition Against Police Operatives, Say Officers Fighting Crime

By Jude Ikpechukwu
December 06, 2022
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The Concerned Kindred Families of Ndiaga, Umunenshi and Umuchimengwu in Amechi Uwani Awkunanaw, Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State have dismissed a petition to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) against some Police officers in their communities.

They said that there has been an increase in criminal activities in the communities requiring the intervention of security operatives, adding that they will continue to support the Police in its efforts to curb crime.

They cited a petition written by a lawyer, Maxwell Orah, on behalf of some members of the communities who had alleged human rights abuses by police officers deployed to the community from Zone 13 Police headquarters.

In the petition, which the Commissioner representing South East in the Police Service Commission, the Commissioner of Police, Enugu State and Chairman, Police Service Commission, as well as Enugu State Commissioner of Lands were copied, he alleged that the arrest and detention of Okwudili Nnaji, Chidiebere Eneh, Godswill Uchenna and Nnamani Friday by the Zone 13 police officers were illegal thereby requesting the IGP to intervene.

However, the communities in a statement jointly signed by Chief Sunday Nnaji, Ozo Onukwube Ogbodo and Elder Chigbo Edeh, said that it was important to set the records straight, especially for the sake of all the individuals who have personally borne the brunt of the vicious attacks and who yet bear the scars of the injustice meted out on them by Barr. Maxwell’s clients. 

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"Our people and their assigns had experienced several attempts of robbery, theft as well as murder attempts amongst other infractions and had reported same to the office of the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), Abuja, in November 2021, who dutifully granted approval through administrative channels for the investigation to be carried out by one Inspector Celestine Oriodovwe of the FCID Annex, Enugu.   

"Summarily, after the arrest of one suspect and the negotiation for his release, the Investigating Police Officer, Inspector Celestine Oriodovwe was kidnapped, murdered and his vehicle brought to our community and set ablaze, perhaps to lay the groundwork for the incarceration of the century, against our people.   

"Thankfully, prompt measures were taken and the referenced case which the murdered Inspector was investigating, was most professionally concluded, based on overwhelming evidence at their disposal, by the Investigating Team from Zone 13, Ukpo-Dunukofia, Anambra State, which Team is now being referenced by the said Barr. Maxwell Orah to be violating the fundamental human rights of these hirelings.

"This is despite the fact that the matter is a subject of an ongoing trial before a competent court of law as the same had been charged to court in Charge No: MES/231c/2022.

The community said that it was surprising that, "the Investigating Team and, perhaps, the Enugu State Ministry of Justice and Judiciary are infringing on the fundamental human rights of Barr. Maxwell Orah’s clients, as the matter is already subjudice. 

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"We hereby elect to make it clear, that our community, will continue to engage all legally justiciable means to ensure that all those whose interests seek to continue to facilitate anarchy in our community are made to face the wrath of the law.   

"It is also our hope that the good officers of Zone 13 Headquarters who insisted on working by the book to conclude the investigation which cost another honest officer his life, do not become discouraged by this campaign of calumny and deceit against their credentials and credibility.

"Going by Barr. Maxwell Orah’s submission to the media that his clients are innocent and law-abiding, we find it pertinent to question Barr. Maxwell Orah’s certificate of graduation as a University Law Graduate as well as his Certificate of call to the Nigerian Bar or any other bar for that matter. 

"This is because, as a legal practitioner who is presumed to have gone through the rigours of training, Bar. Maxwell Orah ought to know that such submission would have been more proper, appropriate and suitable if the same submission was made before a court of law and in the course of defending his clients, rather than making the same in the media.

"As a matter of fact, this action of Barr. Maxwell Orah, in our opinion, amounts to professional misconduct which ought to be looked into by the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee, as it is quite unbecoming of any person, worse still, a legal practitioner, to resort to a media campaign against a matter which is already the subject of pending litigation. 

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"Be that as it may, it is our most candid advice to the acclaimed Barr. Maxwell Orah to discharge his fundamental duty as a legal practitioner by encouraging his clients, especially those who are currently at large as well as their sponsors, to make themselves available to the relevant investigating authorities investigating the murder of the slain serving Police officer as well as other related unsolved murders within the catchment of our community in order that they may establish their innocence in the allegations against them and exonerate themselves from the allegation as doing this would serve more purpose than crying wolf in the media.

"Our community wishes to use this medium to sincerely appreciate the Inspector General of Police whose most exemplary leadership of the force has indeed set a very high bar that may be difficult to replicate", they stated.

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Jude Ikpechukwu

Jude Ikpechukwu is a consummate freelance journalist who has worked with many reputable media organi...

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