Ihiagwa community, the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) host community, has cried out over what it called police complicity in the commission of crimes in the community.
The community leaders, Engr Emeka Udokporo and the President of Ihiagwa Town Management Committee, alongside the two traditional rulers, HRH Eze Kingsley Odu, Agwa Ukwu Dindi 1 of Dindi Ihiagwa and Eze Lucky Ajoku, Chinyere Ugo 1, Nnaochie 3 of Ihiagwa Autonomous community respectively expressed shock that police could be aiding and abetting crime in their community.
The local vigilante, the Ihiagwa Vigilante Group, Wednesday in the noon caught three FUTO students suspected to be cultists in their hide out at Umuelem village. The names of the boys are Henry Nnadiekwe, Onyi Franklin, and Kamsy Opara
The watchful vigilante boy according to the Chairman Ihiagwa Vigilante Group, Uche Muruako, had caught two boys with short gun who flung them away as they sighted him while others took a flight. Other items found on them were 5 cartridges and one bottle of Squadron spirit.
According to him, ‘when the first two boys were undergoing interrogation in our office, a particular number rang consistently for up to 20 times on the phones of the two boys. We permitted them to take the caller and in response to the caller of where they were, he came to the Market Square (location of Vigilante office) where we arrested him and found on him another bottle of same Squadron spirit’.
‘Surprisingly one of the two boys we arrested has been arrested before with a gun two years ago. We are shocked to arrest the boy again with gun this time. As usual I had to call the police again from the Nekede/Ihiagwa Police Division. When they came in here, the police man in a fit of surprise shouted, ‘Henry, you again’’.
‘We are tired. We don’t know how we will be arresting criminals and no action is taken against them and that puts us in danger’’, he lamented further.
When the reporter called on the Investigating Police Officer, Okeagu, he confirmed the incident and said that ‘we are still working on it’. He also confirmed that one of the suspects had been caught earlier two years ago with gun for a related crime and promised to transfer the matter.
The Police Public Relations Officer, in a text message promised to revert on the matter saying he is in Abuja for a Seminar
In his reaction, Eze Kingsley Odu, Agwa Ukwu Dindi 1 of Dindi Ihiagwa commended the efforts of the local vigilantes but regretted that police has been frustrating their efforts. In his words, ‘the boys after doing the work the police take the glory and at the end of the day takes money to release the criminals. In Ihiagwa now we have ten toll gates with police collecting N100 from each bike. Students have been scared away because of police actions.
Speaking in similar vein, Eze (Sir) Lucky Ajoku, the traditional ruler of Ihiagwa Autonomous community strongly condemned the police action wondering how a criminal could be released and be living with the same people he is terrorizing without punishment. He said that the ‘best we can get in this matter is justice. The police should allow the law take its course’, he warned.