No fewer than 11 houses, two filling stations, vehicles and other valuables were, on Sunday, burnt at Akaeze, in the Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State following the alleged torture and death of a Nnaogo Anyim.
It was gathered that Late Anyim was arrested by men of the Ebubeagu Security Network attached to Ivo council area for alleged robbery, but was allegedly tortured to death by the operatives.
He was said to have died in the hospital following the alleged torture.
Angered by his death, youths, women and men of the area went on rampage, on Sunday evening, destroying and burning properties of Ebubeagu men from the area and other property belonging to some prominent persons in the area.
It was further gathered that among those whose property worth billions of Naira were burnt, were the Chairman of the local government, Chief Onyebuchi Ogbadu. His house, filling stations and other pieces or property 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.
Reacting to the incident, the Chairman of the Ivo council area, Chief Onyebuchi Ogbadu said, “In the first place, my house and property were the 5th in the series of what they burnt yesterday (Sunday). They started with the house of the commander of Ebubeagu in the area; they went to the Deputy, went to another person. They said they were burning houses because a person they said that died, when he was arrested by Ebubeagu people, he is not 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 are they 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 or 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 the armed robber.”
Ogbadu dismissed the insinuation in many quarters that he shot and killed two of the protesters.
He said, “They were shooting guns when they were protesting that yesterday. How can I even go near them yesterday to kill them? I did not shot 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 Umazi Ugbadu, condemned the incident, saying it was politically-motivated.
In a telephone interview with our Correspondent, on Monday, the monarch 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. I heard he butchered him first in the hand, and on the leg the second time; 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 and 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 used to steal people’s things and if he’s stealing your thing and you come, he would chase you, he used machete to cut people the previous year.
“Then Ebubeagu went to carry him, and they said he (the attacker) pointed at one of them and said he was the next person to be killed. It was then that people said they 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 myself with the bandage on me, I went to see the deceased family with a cartoon of Beer as our tradition demands. I have to go with wine and I went and begged them that we should settle it amicably. One, two of them are from the same family, the man that was macheted and the one (attacker) that died. The family agreed, but told me that his elder brother said we should not discuss anything until he returned.”
He added: “The problem as I have told you was caused by the Ebubeagu, because had it been that they 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 they made, and they were supposed to take that boy (the attacker) to the police station. The people that sponsored this this thing did not do well, because this is politically-motivated.”