Full Story: Police arrest Ibeto, 9 ors for attempted murder, assault, threat to life, trespassing , unlawful demolition of properties of 104y.o. widow
Billionaire Nnewi-based businessman, Chief Cletus Ibeto was, on Thursday, arrested by police operatives in Abuja following a petition written against him by a resident of same town, Nnewi over attempted murder, assault, threat to life, trespassing , unlawful demolition of properties of 104 year old widow.
Chief Ibeto, it was gathered, was arrested along with nine other persons but was granted administrative bail and released after interrogation while the investigation continues.
The arrest was consequent to an ElombahNews report titled “104 year old woman loses house over land tussle at Nnewi” published on January 22.
According to the report, a 94 year old woman, Ma Magret Onwuelo of Umuenem Otolo Nnewi house was demolished at the behest of Ibeto and other suspects over land tussle.
See attached the police letter inviting the suspects to Force Headquarters, Abuja:
An eyewitness claimed that the house was demolished by suspected hoodlums allegedly hired by those interested in taking over the land where the old woman lived.
The eyewitness said that the hoodlums came into the area in large numbers and were sighted in company of Ibeto and some persons said to be land developers ready to take over the land.
According to the eyewitness, they descended on every available structure in the area immediately they secured order to act from their backers and ensured the demolition of the house where the old woman lives.
He said: “They pulled down the fence, broke the provision store in front of the house and took all the provisions and drank off all the beer, the hot drinks, all the soft drink as well and cigarettes.
“They finished everything including the money inside the shop, nothing was left.”
Another eyewitness, in what he termed “the height of criminality perpetrated by Mr Cletus Ibeto, Ebuka Ileka, Afam Obiekosi, Charles Onyeka and many others,” said:
“I urge you all to remain steadfast, law abiding and continue in your prayers for Egbu, Enem and Nnewi.
“What I know is that Evil and [impunity] must never prevail.
“No matter the circumstances, no human being has the right to take the law into his own hands and as I have always said, Nobody is above the law.
“What we witnessed on Monday 6th Jan is a situation where some devilish people along with some imported armed hoodlums invaded the properties of Onwuelos, along Abel Okoye Road, destroying them with unimaginable alacrity.
“The Force headquarters in Abuja, Anambra State Command Awka, or Area Command Nnewi were not aware of this unprecedented private criminal operations.
“There was no legitimate directive from any authorities of the government. There was No order of the Court.
“The Palace of HRH Igwe Orizu did not direct nor aware of this disgraceful harmful conduct.
“These people sat and planned out to perpetrate this crime. The effect was to kill Mrs Magaret Onwuelo.
“Please do not completely loose hope in the affairs of our people. We must know what prompted this crime and those responsible will no doubt be called to answer.
“I thank you all, while urging you to remain strong and unwavering.
A source at the police headquarters also disclosed to this medium that a ” full blown criminal investigation… has been launched by the Inspector General of Police.”
A statement, obtained from police hierarchy, reads:
Re: attempted murder, conspiracy, assault, threat to life, unlawful demolition of properties, trespass by Mr Cletus Ibeto and others.
A full blown criminal investigation of the above has been launched by the Inspector General of Police.
The following SUSPECTS appeared at the Police Force Headquarters on Tues 21st Jan 2020. Suspect:
001. Mr Cletus Ibeto.
002. Mr Ebuka Ileka.
003. Chief Afam Obiekosi.
004. Mr Charles Onyeka.
005. Mr Emeka Okafor.
006. Mr Pat Nwosu.
007. Mr Okey Nwaizugbe
008. Mr Micheal Okafor.
009. Mr Uzochukwu Ojukwu.
Suspect 010 Mr Benjamin Akamelu is currently at large having absconded from the Police.
The 9 suspects were held and Statements taken from them under Police Caution.
An interview of the suspects with the representatives of the complainant were undertaken.
Mr Ibeto was compelled to respond to the serious allegations made principally against him.
In his brief response, he diverted the perpetrators of the criminal act of Mon 6th Jan 2020 to the community.
But he admitted that he was present on the scene of crime and participated in the demolition and other acts.
Senator Ifeanyi Ubah was there at Force Headquarters for several hours to the end helping the suspects.
They also brought Mr Ikechukwu Onwuelo with them.
All the 9 suspect were admitted to bail on condition of keeping the Peace, non interference with the Complainants, witnesses and evidence.
And they will present themselves whenever next they are needed. They provided Guarantors on the above term.
The Police is continuing with their criminal investigation.
ElombahNews will furnish more details as they unfold.
Meanwhile, see attached photos of the demolition below:
The hoodlums stormed the area in company of highly placed persons said to be land developers.
He said: “The hoodlums, mostly strangers, arrived in batches at about 9am and suddenly increased in number while waiting for their backers, who on arrival, pointed at the house from about 100 metres away.
“They pulled down virtually all structures in the area after securing an order to act from their backers. The old woman’s house was affected.
Read Also: Hoodlums abduct 75-year-old woman
“They pulled down the fence, broke the store in front of the house and made away with all the items, including drinks and money.”
Narrating her ordeal to reporters, Mrs. Onwuelo linked the attack to a land tussle following the death of her eldest son.
She said: “I’ve been under pressure from some highly placed persons close to my family to give up the land, but I refused because the land belongs to me.
“My husband and I, the late Chief Edward Onwuelo, acquired the land in 1953 with 50 pounds. Some people suddenly became desperate to take over the land after the death of my eldest son.”
Alleging a plot by the perpetrators to eliminate her, so as to take over the land, the centenarian said she was, however, grateful to God that she narrowly escaped death.
“I lost everything inside the house, including my medications. I’m surviving through the help of neighbours and relations,” she said.
Mama Onwuelo implored Governor Willie Obiano, well- meaning people, philanthropists, churches and non-governmental organisations to assist her.