The relative peace in Akaeze, Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State has been shattered following the alleged torture and death of an indigene of the area, Nnaogo Anyim by men of Ebubeagu Security Network from the area for an alleged offence. The incident occurred last weekend when the deceased was arrested by operatives of the Security network. Anyim was accused of robbery by the Network and was tortured by the operatives. The video of his torture went viral in the social media with some of the operatives seen hitting him with axe and other dangerous weapons. He later died in the hospital.
His death sparked off protest by some youths and women of the area who called for the banning of Ebubeagu security network. Houses, filling stations, vehicles and other valuable properties were burnt in the community on Sunday when the protesters went on the rampage. Among those whose properties were burnt is the Chairman of the local government, Chief Onyebuchi Ogbadu. His house, filling station and other properties were burnt in the melee. Also, a court and police post in the community were razed by the angry mob. It was alleged that about four persons were killed during the violent protest.
The Council Chairman, Ogbadu allaged that the protest was sponsored by drug peddlers in the community who were chased out of the area by Ebubeagu Security Network who he said returned to the community. He said “in the first place, my house and 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 arm 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, when why then this taking laws 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 armed robber.
On his part, the Traditional Ruler of Umuihe autonomous community, HRH Ubani Ibo alleged that Nnaogo Anyim was a notorious robber in the community. Ibo who is the Chairman, Ebonyi South Traditional Rulers Council said: “On Tuesday I went for operation, I returned on Wednesday, I heard that somebody used machete to chase somebody returning from his farm, with motorcycle, he butchered him first in the hand, and the second one on the leg, the boy fell from the motorcycle.
“A passerby going to the farm, who saw the incident, returned and reported to men of Ebubeagu what he saw on his way, Ebubeagu now went to their place and reported to their people what happened, I leant that their people were the ones that reported to Ebubeagu that the boy had returned, the boy in question is a bad boy, one, he is a thief, he use to steal people’s things and if he’s stealing your thing and you come, he would chase you, he has used machete to cut 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 now started beating him, and used axe 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 weapon to cut somebody on 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 my-self with the bandage on me, I 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 his elder brother said we should not discuss anything until he comes back.
“I invited the other family that their son was macheted, 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, I told them to 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 out, but they said they would go to the deceased family themselves to find out if his elder brother is back, and 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 called Amiyi, in Azaeze 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, 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 happened, 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 belongs 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 his father’s house and burnt the cars parked there, they went to Nwafuruzo’s house and damaged everything in his place, they went 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 area commander, which of course I was reaching 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 net, their opposition political party couldn’t have used the opportunity to cause this, I am seeing it as one of the mistake, and they were supposed to take that boy to the police station, the people that sponsored this this thing did not do well, because this is politically motivated”.
The state Police Public Relations Officer who confirmed the torture of the deceased said some of his victims of are at the state police clinic receiving treatment and condemned his torture which led to his death. “Nobody has a right to take a life no matter the offence the person has committed. The police in totality condemn jungle justice, self help, brutality of any kind”, she said. Following the uprising, security agents including police and soldiers have taken over the community.