Houses, cars, filling station and other valuables were razed down by angry youths at Akaeze community, Ivo local government area of Ebonyi State, over the alleged torture, leading to the death of one Nnaogo Akpoke Anyim, a generator mechanic in the area.
Anyim, was said to have been brutally tortured by the Operatives of Ebubeagu, Ivo outfit who apprehended him over alleged theft.
It was reported that the victim later died in an undisclosed hospital in the area, following the torture.
Saddened by the development, Akaeze youths, both men and women on Sunday went on rampage setting ablaze properties belonging to men of Ebubeagu, including those belonging to the local government chairman of the council, Chief Onyebuchi Ogbadu.
They were chanting “end Ebubeagu now, they are killing us”.
Also, court and police post in the community was razed by the angry mob. It was alleged that about four persons were killed during the violent protest.
In his reaction, the council chairman, Chief Ogbadu, said: “In the first place, my house and other property were the 5th in the series of what they burnt yesterday. They started with the commander of Ebubeagu’s house, went to the Deputy, went to another person. They said they are burning houses because of a person they said that died when he was arrested by Ebubeagu people, he is an armed robber and he died in the hospital.
“The Commissioner of Police as directed by the Governor of the state is investigating, he has arrested Ebubeagu leadership, four of them, and they are in detention. So, why then is this people taking the law into their hands and burning people’s houses.
“Our finding is that they are drug peddlers that Ebubeagu has chased away from the village, Akaeze for the past two, three months because it was shown yesterday by all the youths they gathered. People have run away, drug peddlers, they surfaced yesterday doing all these things. You find out that it was sponsored based on what happened between Ebubeagu and an armed robber”.
Ogabdu dismissed the insinuation in many quarters that he shot and killed two of the protesters.
Adding: “They were shooting guns when they were protesting that yesterday. How can I even go near them yesterday to kill them? I didn’t shoot anybody, they did not even come close to me and I was not in my house when they came, I was in Eze’s palace when they came and burnt it.
On his part, the Traditional Ruler of Umuihe autonomous community, HRH Omazi Ubani said, “on Tuesday I went for an operation, when I returned on Wednesday, I heard that somebody used a machete to chase somebody returning from his farm, with a motorcycle, he cut him first in the hand, and the second one on the leg, the boy fell from the motorcycle.
“A passer-by going to the farm, who saw the incident, returned and reported to men of Ebubeagu what he saw on his way. Ebubeagu then went to their place (suspect) and reported to their people what happened. I learned that their people later reported to Ebubeagu that the boy had returned, the boy in question is a bad boy, one, he is a thief, he used to steal people’s things and if he’s stealing anything belonging to you and you come around he would chase you away, he had used a machete to injure some people the previous year,
“Ebubeagu went to carry him, and they said he pointed at one of them and said he’s the next person to be killed. They started beating him, and used an ax to cut him. I am a traditional ruler and I have nothing in my cupboard, what you are going to hear from me is nothing but the truth. I must say that they beat him the way they were not supposed to, because using a weapon to cut somebody on the investigation is not proper, cutting his penis is not proper, the worst is after everything, they went and put it on the internet, and when it was posted on the net, some politicians rode on it and started this problem.
“When I heard it I carried myself with the bandage on me and went to see the deceased family with a cartoon of beer as our tradition demands that I should go with wine. I went to beg them that we should settle it amicably. One, two of them are from the same family, the man that was macheted and the one that died. The family agreed, but told me that the deceased elder brother said we should not discuss anything until he comes back”.
Omazi, who is the Chairman, Ebonyi South Traditional Rulers said he made efforts to reconcile both parties.
Noting; “I invited the other family that their son was matcheted, they told me that they are from the same family, I called a meeting with my chiefs and the whole chiefs from that kindred came, we agreed on Thursday that they should go to the deceased family and apologize to them, which of course they told me that they went.
“On Friday, I called another meeting, In the morning and they said the deceased brother had not returned, I told them to use town crier and inform everyone in the community to come to the playground for us to settle it, but they said they would go to the deceased family themselves to find out if his elder brother was back. When they returned, they said he said he was coming in the evening, but he didn’t come. The same thing happened on Saturday, and I said we don’t have to wait for him again. On that Saturday, they used the town crier and gathered the villagers in a place we call Amiyi, in Akaeze Ukwu, a different community from where this thing happened. Nobody informed me of that town crier, which of course they were supposed to inform me and if they had informed me they wouldn’t have gathered there because it’s not the proper thing, because tradition demands that when such a thing happens, the elders and the traditional rulers and the leaders of that village would gather together and discuss about it.
“I can say that the elder brother of the deceased was making arrangements with politicians on how to worsen this problem, and yesterday morning I heard they gathered at Amiyi. I saw group of boys singing, they wanted to enter my palace, but they passed, the first building they destroyed belonged to one Ebubeagu boy called Olinda. They destroyed his house and burnt everything, they went to Ifeanyi Ejem’s house, destroyed and burnt it, they destroyed his two buildings and burnt everything in them, they went to his father’s house and burnt the cars parked there, they went to Nwafuruzo’s house and damaged everything in his place, they went to another person who is close to the chairman and also burnt his house. They went to the Chairman’s filling station and burnt it down, they also went to his house and burnt everything, in fact I was helpless.
“I called the DPO and the Area Commander, which of course I reached the Chairman, who said he called the Commissioner of police, I called our brothers whom we have blood relation with from Enugu, their two traditional rulers came with other people, because whatever happened here if they come, the fight will stop, no matter how bloody, they were the people that stopped it,
“The problem as I told you, had it been that Ebubeagu did not post that thing on the internet, their opposition political party couldn’t have used the opportunity to cause this, I am seeing it as one of the mistakes, and they were supposed to take that boy to the police station, the people that sponsored this thing did not do well, because this is politically motivated”.