Complainant Turns Accused As Anyim Use Police To Arrest Man Who Accused Him Of Land Grabbing, Destruction of Farmland
Drama ensued on Wednesday at about 9:00am as the Ebonyi State C.I.D, Abakaliki detained a 76-year old complainant, Mr. Moses Orji, whose farm plantations at Amagu, Ivo Local Government Area were bulldozed allegedly by agents of former Nigerian Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim.
Orji had been told by the Ivo Police Division, where he first reported the case of malicious damage, that his petition got transferred to the Police Headquarters, Abakaliki on order of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Abubakar Adamu.
At the court session on 28 January, the presiding judge, Justice Onwusi, had adjourned the case to Tuesday 4 February, but on the third day, Thursday 30 January 2020, the bulldozer returned to resume destruction of the plantations.
According to him, he had also earlier requested that his petition be transferred to the Police Headquarters, Abakaliki when it became clear that the Ivo Police Division was unwilling to take any action against the respondents because of the personality of Chief Anyim.
Mr. Orji said after the transfer of the case, police officers from the headquarters, Abakaliki came to the farm to assess the damages after which he was also invited to write statement.
According to him, he was surprised when the same police gave him an accused form to fill, adding that it was at that stage that officers from the Police Headquarters, Abuja met him and showed him a petition written against him by Sen. Anyim.
It took intervention of Ovumte Community leaders who delegated Prof. Onu of the Ebonyi State University to secure release of the unfortunate farmer at about 5:45pm.
“When I asked them why a complainant should fill an accused form, they then showed me a petition for defamation written by Anyim against me, my family and lawyer. When I showed them my own petition and evidences of destruction of my farms by the petitioner, they claimed ignorance of it, they were surprised, saying they were not aware at all. That was how I, a complainant became an accused.
“We had to call another elder of the community, Prof. Onu, to secure my bail. We have now been asked to report to the Police Headquarters, Abuja on February 20.”
“I told the officers from Abuja that I am appealing to the I.G to come and see ruins done to my farm by these people. I promised to also forward to them, photos and videos of the destruction”, the distraught farmer recounted.
When P.M.NEWS called Orji’s lawyer, Barr. Ogbonna Paul Arochukwu, he confirmed arrest and subsequent release of his client and the police invitation to Abuja.
“That is what Anyim has resorted to, intimidation of the victims of his acts of oppression. He used police to arrest an old man whose property he has heartlessly destroyed. The invitation to Abuja is a ploy to get us detained so that the oppressed will never get justice. It is strange that police would ask a plaintiff in current matter before a court of law to report in another state outside the jurisdiction of the case.
“Those who are acting in contempt of the court are left untouched, while the oppressed is being hunted”, the lawyer lamented.
Meanwhile, Justice Onwusi of the Ivo Division of Ebonyi State High Court during the court appearance of Tuesday 4 February adjourned the case to February 11, 2020 for motion.
The judge ordered all parties to stay actions and warned the defendants to stay further destruction of the farm lands and partitioning pending determination of the case in court.
Piqued by the pathetic case of farmer Orji and the penchant of the accused to continue destruction of the man’s main source of livelihood, according to their lawyer Barr. Chidi Nwogu, the Community of Ovumte on Wednesday February 5 also filed a suit with No/HSK/6/2020 of forceful entry; malicious damage among others against Anyim Pius Anyim and his agents at the same Ebonyi High Court, Ivo.
“The community decided not to sit by and watch the injustice go unredressed. They have continued destruction of the old man’s means of livelihood. They have also resorted to harassing him with police in the full glare of all of us. This is unfair, we will fight it to the end”, the lawyer said.
The destruction of Orji’s farms began on January 21 when bulldozer of the accused stormed his farms, starting with the expanse yam farm, then cassava, uprooting and crushing the tubers among rubble.
The terrified farmer rushed to Ivo Police Division to help him halt the destruction, but the police declined to arrest the situation when, according to his lawyer, they realised the personality involved.
They simply asked his lawyer to go to court and obtain injunction.
Inspector Bassey Samuel of the division’s control room confirmed to P.M.NEWS that the Divisional Police Officer, Mr. Nwornu Daniel, asked the complainant’s lawyer to go and obtain injunction from court because it was a civil matter.
The DPO himself on January 27 returned P.M.NEWS’ call and advised the reporter to call the State Police Public Relations Officer for update on the case.