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Protest rocks Anambra community over release of 4 murder suspects from police custody



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. as widows of slain husbands accuse council boss of undue interference
. I intervened, took detainees on bail to make peace – LG boss

By Chuks Eke

Scores of widows and relations of those reportedly killed by a deadly gang, Pillar Youths operating at oil-rich Ogwuaniocha community in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State yesterdsy took to the streets in protest against the release of four murder suspects who were detained in various police formations in the state.

Specifically, the demonstrators hinged their protest on the fact that the murder suspects were taken on bail by the Chairman of Ogbaru Local Government Transition Committee, Hon. Pascal Aniegbunam,

Some of the protesters who carried placards with such inscriptions as: “Ogbaru council chairman stop aiding and abetting Pillar Youths to kill us, Ogbaru LGA chairman allow police to do their work, we need justice on the murder of our husbands and relations by killer pillar Youths, Pascal Aniegbunam, council chairman has no right to release those who kill our husbands and relations,” among others, chanted some potest songs in their local dialect.

They therefore urged Governor Chukwuma Soludo to prevail on the council boss to distance himself from the and allow the police to do their work as according to them, it took a little of time to fish out the murder suspects and apprended them to face Justice.

Speaking during the exercise, one of the demonstrators and a widow who identified herself as Mrs Augustina Ejiofor, wife to Mr. Sunday Ejiofor,one of the victims allegedly abducted andkilled by the Pillar Youths, “the deadly gang kidnapped my husband from our residence and killed him. One of the suspects, Anthony Nnaji, was first arrested and detained at Zone 13 Police Command, Ukpo two others , Chibunna and Jekwu, were also arrested and detained at SARS Awkuzu and another was arrested by Police Area Command Oraifite but the council chairman used his position to reffect their elease from the police custodies”.

“Two of those suspects, Chibunna and Jekwu are his security boys in the local government and they always storm our camps and kidnap perceived enemies and kill. They should leave us alone in the camp where we are staying after sacking us from our homes”.

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“Governor Soludo we need justice over abduction and murder of Sunday Ejiofor, Afam Enyimezie, Friday Obimma, among others. Governor Soludo we are dying, Pascal should let us be and allow justice to take its course,” she pleaded.

“God will not allow the council chairman to go Scott free since he bailed those who killed our husbands and other relations. Instead of Pascal to act as a father in Ogbaru, he is biased because he aids and abets Pillar Youths. Let him leave police to do their work,” she cried.

Another widow, Mrs Ijeoma Enumezie, disclosed that, “My husband, Afam Enumezie, was killed for nothing. Our problem started when the said Igwe Oliver Nnaji was declared missing years back, since then killer Pillar Youths of the missing monarch continue to kill our people and the LGA chairman , Pascal is protecting them from getting justce. How can he intervene in murder case which police is investigating and bail them. He should allow police to do their job to serve as deterrent to future offenders,” she stated.

Also Mrs Chinyere Obinna, whose son was suspected killed, said that , “Pillar Youths took us to their torture camp near the river, and tied my husband and son hands with ropes, my husband’s rope was divinely untied and he dived into the river and escaped but my son was killed. Governor Soludo should please prevail on Pascal to hands off the matter in the interest of justice and peace in the community,” she pleaded.

A sibling to the purported killed Afam Enumezie, Mbakwe Ekpom Enumezie, told newsmen that his elder brother, Afam, was abducted by some youths believed to be Pillar Youths on October 19, last year.

“On hearing of it I called ‘Anthony Nnaji’, and he told me that he sent the youths that abducted my brother. Since then we have not seen him. Police lived up to the challenges by arresting Anthony Nnaji, Chibuzor, Jekwu and another one suspect, but the council chairman instead of allowing the police to do their work, went and tookt hem on bail”.

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“That means he is working with suspects in committing crimes, he should be querried to know his interest in arresting murder suspects who even confessed involvement in the murder of the husbands of these widows and other victims,” he disclosed.

In her own contribution, Mrs Loveth Ogana, wife to the embattled igweship contender, Okwudili Ogana, of Ogwuaniocha, advised the council chairman to stop intervening in murder case to enable justice take its course adding that those murdered were human beings not cows.

In a swift reaction when contacted, the council chairman, Hon. Pascal Aniegbunam, told newsmen on phone that he fought for the release of the suspects adding that it was done in good faith, to make peace.

” His words, In Ogbaru we have 40-man Central Strike Force with members drawn from all the communities in the council area and group was formed to checkmate crimes and criminalities in the Area and two of my men were arrested by the police over the purported murder and I had to get to the police and told them that two of my men were detained and that they help in crime fighting in Ogbaru Local Government Area.

“If there is any murder in Ogwuaniocha it is the police and Navy that should be held responsible and not members of my strike force who merely assisted the police and navy to control crime in the area. The strike force merely assist the police and Navy in the Ogbaru terrain as indigenes”.

“I am not from Ogwuaniocha and those people have been threatening fire and brimstone, that they will kill me, and so on. I can’t advise anybody to kill his brother and whenever the police need those released, they will be produced. The police are there to investigate the matter and can rearrest if need be”, he assured.

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