By Izunna Okafor, Awka
The operatives of the Anambra State Police Command have revealed the reason behind the arrest the owner and Managing Director of the Blue Shield Security company, Ọzọ Jeff Nweke.
Recall that Ọzọ Nweke was arrested on Saturday, shortly after a protest by indigenes of Enugwu-Agidi in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra, protestedvagainst what they described as the excesses of Mr. Jeff Nweke, the MD/CEO of the Blue Shield Security outfit.
The protesters, who include the aged and the young from Mbananọ in Enugwu-Agidi, Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, marched to the State Criminal Investigation Department (State CID); the State Police Headquarters, Amawbia; the Headquarters of the Department of State Service (DSS); and the State Government House, with placards with different inscriptions, to help drive home their message.
Mbananọ, as a quarter in Enugwu-Agidi, made up four villages — Igbollo, Obunagu Achalla, Iruobieli, and Ifite, said their grievances border on illegal land grabbing activities, intimidation, and other violence conducts allegedly being perpetrated by Nweke of Ezinano community in Awka, the capital city of the State.
The protesters’ placards had such inscriptions as “Stop Land Grabbing and Stealing of Enugwu-Agidi Land”, “Jeff Nweke is a Notorious Criminal Land Grabber”, “Ọzọ Jeff Nweke, Stop Stealing People’s Land in Anambra State”, “Our Able Governor, Please Save Enugwu-Agidi from Cult King, Ọzọ Jeff Nweke”, “Ọzọ Jeff Nweke Is a Notorious Cult Leader Linked to Many Brutal Deaths of Innocent People in Anambra”, “Ọzọ Jeff Nweke, Stop Shooting Police Officers”, “Land Grabber Jeff Nweke, Leave Enugwu-Agidi Land Alone”, “Police Is Protecting Law-abiding Citizens, Not Criminals”, “Awka Is Peaceful, Stop Creating Insecurity, Jeff Nweke”, among others. Some of the placards also show pictures of some hospitalized persons who were in a critical condition after they were attacked by thugs allegedly sent by the accused, as well as spills of fresh blood.
The protesters also chanted some solidarity and lamentful songs as they marched, expressing their grievances and bearing witness to the alleged harrowing tale of land grabbing, intimidation, and violence allegedly orchestrated by Nweke, whom they accused of using his Blue Shield Security outfit as a weapon in his quest for dominance and opulence.
Recall also that the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, CP Aderemi Adeoye had recently given a a brief on the activities of Ọzọ Jeff Nweke, an Ozo title holder in Awka, and his Blue Shield Security Company.
The CP’s brief read: “His operatives are armed with Pump Action Guns. For years, his operatives and the Police in CPS and ‘B’ Divisions in Awka conduct joint patrol of the metropolis.
“Curiously this did not stem the tide of cult-related killings until the Command launched an all out war against cultists in the City which led to arrest and arraignment in court of not less than 40 suspected cultists who were remanded to Prison custody before normalcy was restored.
“Infact, a notorious cult killer arrested by operatives of this Command confessed on video that they killed an operative of the Blue Shield Security Company sometime last year because he belonged to a rival cult group!
“In the last three months after my assumption of duty as Commad CP, I have received several petitions from various communities in Anambra State accusing Ozo Jeff Nweke of using armed operatives of his Blue Shield Security Company for land grabbing. I referred all to State CID, Awka headed by DCP Akin Fakorede for investigation.
“Investigation into the cases indicted him for using his armed operatives to seize lands belonging to individuals and communities including Nibo and Enugwu Agidi which shares boundaries with Awka where Ozo Jeff is from.
“On one occasion his operatives shot a Policeman from Delta Command and stole his pistol. He had accompanied his Principal to visit his property in one of the areas Ozo Jeff grabbed land. When CID Operatives who were already investigating the land grab case which is made a crime by laws of Anambra State responded to the scene, Blue Shield guards opened fire on the Team. They were however overwhelmed by the Police Team, disarmed, arrested and detained. They have been arraigned in court.
“I gave a 24-hour ultimatum to the Blue Shield company for the recovery of the stolen Police Pistol or else we would close down the company. DIG Celestine Okoye (Rtd) a friend and associate of Ozo Jeff Nweke called me and I explained to him reason for the ultimatum. In the evening of that day, DIG Celestine Okoye called me to his house in Awka and handed over the stolen Pistol to me. I handed it to DC CID whom I called to accompany me as a witness since he was the one handling the investigation.
“When I approved charge in the land grabbing case Ozo Jeff had with Nibo people, he rushed to Abuja in a bid to have the case taken over by Force CID with a view to escaping justice. DIG Force CID rather than taking over the case called for the duplicate Case File for a review in line with IGP’s policy on transfer of cases. At the end of the review this Command was directed by DIG Force CID to carry on with the investigation.
“Ozo Jeff Nweke and operatives of his company have been charged to court in three different cases, one at the Federal High Court and two at the State High Court.
“Despite being served with arraignment notices he has refused to appear in court. We will be applying for Bench Warrant for his arrest at the next sitting.
“These are the background details to his current media campaign of blackmail against DCP Akin Fakorede and the State CID, Awka whom he is accusing of corruption ostensibly for not siding with his criminal escapades.
“In a video clip he released alleging that one of the IPOs Inspr Monday demanded for N20m bribe from him and accepted a N100,000 offer, it was actually a set up against the unwary police officer.
“In the early days of investigation when Ozo Jeff was invited for questioning he feigned serious illness. This made DC CID to direct the Inspector to go and record his statement in his office inorder not to stall investigation. The detective did not go alone. He was accompanied by a female detective. Still the suspect did not make any statement. Instead he promised to come to the CID the next day to do the needful. He handed a wad of notes to the detective which he said was to cover their transport costs. Inspr Monday even bowed to thank him in the video clip. That was not consistent with a person who demanded N20m bribe as claimed by the blackmailer.
“When the video failed to trend or win public sympathy to the crime suspect he resorted to hiring people for sponsored protests against the Command targeting DCP Akin Fakorede, Inspr Monday and the CID.
“SIB operatives monitored the motley hired crowd who took off for the protest to State CID Awka from the house of Ozo Jeff Nweke. They were issued with placards and banners prepared by this fugitive from justice.”
It was, however, gathered that shortly after this sponsored demonstration by the rented commercial sex workers, and a counter-protest by the indigenes of Enugwu-Agidi, the suspect, Ọzọ Nweke was arrested on Saturday in Abuja.
Ọzọ Nweke was also renditioned down to Anambra State on over the weekend through the Asaba Airport, Delta State.
Speaking with this reporter, Izunna Okafor in a telephone interview on the reason behind the arrest, the Anambra State Police Commissioner, CP Aderemi Adeoye said the suspect, Nweke, was arrested to face the charges hanging on his neck at the court.
According to the Police Chief, Ọzọ Nweke had some charges to face at different levels of court.
“We arrested him to face some court cases he has. He has some case to answer, both in High and Magistrate’s Court. He has two cases at the Federal High Court and one at the Magistrate’s Court. So, we arrested him to answer to his charges.
More details later.