HURIWA alerts IGP, Enugu Governor on dispossession of Enugu ancestral land, arbitrary arrest of Delta State journalists

Posted by News Express | 28 May 2020 | 406 times

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•HURIWA National Coordinator, Comrade Onwubiko

Frontline civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has urged the Enugu State Governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyu, and Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu “to stop the misuse of the operatives of the Enugu State Police Command to dispossess the Anakaedo and Obangene families of Ibagwa Nike autonomous community of Enugu East Local Government Area Council of Enugu State of their choice lands in what they alleged is a conspiracy by their traditional ruler.”

Speaking at a media briefing on Wednesday in Abuja, HURIWA National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, stated that the rights group has been informed by the leaders of both families, Mr. Ngwu Ikenna and Chief Kelvin Okwor, that the land situate at Ibagwa Nike in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State was the subject of a previous government acquisition. “The families made passionate pleas to the then government of Enugu State which returned a portion measuring about 99 hectares, back to them.

“They added that their happiness was however cut short, when their traditional ruler, who should protect their communal interest, allegedly decided to connive with ill-meaning state officials in the Ministry of Housing using brute force aided by armed security forces to balkanize the little portion of the land returned to them for alleges personal and selfish reasons. They also said that their women had been issued an ultimatum to prematurely harvest and uproot their crops and plants on the said land as the expropriators intend to level the said piece of land on Monday, 25th May 2020,” Onwubiko said.

E disclosed that the leaders of the community in a communication with HURIWA “decried the absence of government investment in their community even after the portions that the government of Enugu State had earlier taken from them.”

HURIWA appealed to both Governor Ugwuanyi and IGP Adamu “to stop forthwith the unconstitutional resort to self help measures by the named Housing ministry officials of the Enugu State government in connivance allegedly with their traditional ruler to take over the possession of their ancestral land which is a grave violation of human rights as provided for in chapter 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended with specific reference to section 44 and 45.”

Relatedly, HURIWA alerted the IGP that the Delta State Police Command “on Tuesday arbitrarily and illegally arrested four journalists, including members of the Warri Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Delta State.

They are Matthew Omonigho of the DAILY POST, Edeki Egafe of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Francis Sadhere of Business Day and Christopher Odomhe, a freelance journalist.”

HURIWA asserted that from available information from dependable sources, the reason for their arrest is not known yet.

“These journalists must be immediately freed and heavy compensations PAID to them for these violations of their fundamental human rights as provided for in chapter four of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 199 as amended,” Onwubiko said.

Source: News Express

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