The Abagana Welfare Association, AWA, in Anambra State has declared four prominent traditional leaders of the community missing.
The Onowu (traditional Prime Minister) of Abagana, High Chief Alfred Onugha, who confirmed this yesterday in a telephone interview , with The Vanguard, said the chiefs went missing after the police invaded Abagana community following a land dispute between his people and Ukpo community.
Those missing include High Chiefs Amobi Ezekwe, Eugene Anene, Stephen Ezediegwu and Charles Nwazojie.
However, a police source in Awka, said the traditional chiefs were arrested on August 19 in their residences over alleged conduct likely to cause a breach of peace were helping detectives in their investigations over the issue.
The Abagana Welfare Association, has also asked the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris, to compel the state Police Commissioner, Samuel Okaula, to immediately release all persons arrested in the wake of the latest round of clashes between the two communities or, in the alternative, charge them to court.
According to them, some of those arrested in the land dispute were paraded as terrorists while the whereabouts of others including the high chiefs were unknown.
In a petition to the IGP, AWA also, accused the state police command of allegedly taking sides in the said land dispute, pointing out that the activities of the command had increased threats to the peace, law and order in the area.
The petition, which was signed on behalf of the union by Emma Ifeadike Esq. noted that “the aforementioned police officers, who ought to be officers of the law have, quite regrettably, become pawns on the chessboard of this moneybags whose cliché is, every man has a price and that when money talks, bullshit works.
There have been a lingering land dispute between Abagana and Ukpo towns. According to reports, even though the expanse of land historically belongs to Abagana, the people of Ukpo led by Prince Authur Eze and his brother, the traditional ruler of the town, Igwe Robert Eze, have been laying claim to the land – the same way they have been falsely laying claims to parcels of land belonging to Enugwu-Agidi and Abba towns.