Due to a deteriorating land dispute, the Obollo community in the Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State is currently sitting on a keg of gunpowder.
Locals warn that bloodshed could break out in the neighborhood due to the developing issue if immediate action is not taken.
The Obollo people claimed during a news conference in Enugu over the weekend that a former governor of Enugu State was causing the issue in an attempt to seize control of a sizable area of land that was larger than 70 hectares.
They displayed a petition they had previously sent to Inspector General of Police Kayode Agbetokun, accusing him of employing his allies to incite the community’s problem so they could seize their common land.
The petition, dated December 21, 2023, was signed by Chief Matthew Agu, Oha Obollo in Council, the Donee, and was made available to Janescope.
Explaining the origin of the crisis, Agu stated that on August 9, 2015, a request for a sizable parcel of land in Obollo-Afor to be used for the construction of a dry sea port was approved, on the condition that it would serve the public interest.
But as the years passed, we found out that he had conned us into giving the land away,” he claimed. It was obvious that he intended to take possession of the land for himself. We objected to it since no one is allowed to use the land for personal purposes.
After realizing that his plan to seize the land for himself through the dry sea port story had failed, he engineered the claim of one of the community’s clans to the property, defying an existing court order that stated the land belonged to the Oha Obollo as a whole and not to any one clan.
Agu also detailed multiple attempts made by the former governor, claiming that the state’s police had been compromised, to thwart attempts to settle the dispute through a current police chief who is a resident of the same local government region.
“Inspector General, there is a high-level plot aimed at implicating the Obollo people and locking them up.
Remember that I informed you in my appeal of August 21, 2023, about the availability of a DIG, who was then a CP, to ensure that the Obollo people were treated criminally.
“The same happened with a former state governor who claimed to desire to use this land for official reasons, but he later changed his mind and sought to use it for personalizing under several names.
The police in Enugu turn a blind eye to whatever the judgment debtors do, but flame to high heaven at the slightest opportunity to incriminate my people. He has used his appointees, and these he aided in the police force along with the judiciary, to ensure that my people are destroyed.
“In 2018, the community leader was confined to the prison yard for eight days. After the DPP concluded that I am the legitimate owner of the land and released me from the prison yard, the governor at the time demanded that the Attorney General step down. If not for the late Justice C.C. Nweze of the Supreme Court’s intervention, this would have happened.
“In the aforementioned petition dated August 21, you will recall that the DIG stopped the police officers who had traveled all the way from Zone 13 and arrested suspects for arson, conspiracy, and willful damage to our property. He then ordered the suspects’ release and boasted to the police officers who had come for the arrest that he had orchestrated the CID Enugu Annex force to drop criminal charges against the suspects after he had failed to stop them from being investigated.
“I have a strong suspicion that OC Legal has been compromised in order to keep judgment debtors occupied while judgment creditors pursue a ludicrous legal quest for due process.”
He begged the IGP to step in and prevent the community’s wrath from building into a full-blown crisis that may claim many lives and destroy a great deal of property.
He implored the chief of police to look into the situation and give the judgment creditors their property back.