Amechi Awkunanaw: Three killed As Brothers Fight Over Land | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Amechi Awkunanaw: Three killed As Brothers Fight Over Land

Posted: Jun 2, 2015 at 5:47 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Emmanuel Nzomiwu – Enugu


The Umuaniebo kindred of Isiagu, Amechi Uwani in Amechi Awkunanaw, Enugu South Local Government Area (LGA) of Enugu State is in turmoil following the alleged murder of three members of the same family over a disputed piece of land located opposite Millennium Estate under construction along the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, just a few minutes’ drive from the State capital, Enugu on May 1.

The deceased include Nnaemeka Agbo (aka Echidime), Sunday Nnamani, and Nnamani Ikpa. It was gathered that the three young men before their death were part of a 15-man delegation sent by the larger family to undertake an on-the-spot inspection of the disputed land.

The killings have heightened tension in Amechi Awkunanaw which had in recent times been in the news for land disputes, forcing the Traditional Ruler of the town, Igwe Joseph Aniebonam Ogbodo, to cut short his overseas trip and rush home to save his restless kingdom.

An elder in the community who pleaded anonymity, said the elders of the community now have a difficult task in restraining agitated youths from any form of reprisal attacks.  Amechi Awkunanaw is home to many prominent politicians including former Senate President, Ken Nnamani and former Governor of old Anambra State, Jim Nwobodo.

An indigene of Amechi who pleaded anonymity said the disputed land and several other swats of land in various parts of what now constitutes the Enugu Capital territory area, especially Achara and Independence Layouts and Awkunanaw originally belonged to three Umuaniebo families namely, Umunwakum, Umunogo and Umunengene.

According to him, trouble started when one of the families turned round to claim exclusive ownership of the piece of land, resulting in a dispute that led to the killing of the young men.

A Community leader, Chief Oliver Okonkwo Agbo, (alias One Day) said events leading up to the killings of his first cousins, were triggered when “certain elements on the other side began to clear the vast land in dispute, using caterpillars and bulldozers.

“They claimed they wanted to build an exclusive estate and may even have collected money from people as we learnt.

“We reported the development to our son and Mayor of Enugu South Local Government Area, Hon. Victor Agbo, whom we gathered promptly briefed the police authorities, upon which a stay-clear order was issued to all parties.” Chief Agbo said.

Agbo said that on the day the three people were killed, they were part of a larger team mandated by the Umunwakum and Umunogo families to visit the land and report back on compliance or otherwise, with the police directive.

“Three healthy young men were killed instantly as gunshots rang out from all directions. So many more escaped with varying degrees of bullet wounds, while others were butchered with machetes and axes” Agbo said as he urged the police to do the “needful, identify and arrest those involved in the killings.”

He said: “It is insensitive, the height of recklessness and impunity for people (brothers) to pick up arms against unarmed opponents (brothers) in a civil contest.  “We do not want to take the laws into our own hands and then begin to decimate ourselves further. Let the police help us by identifying and arresting specific culprits involved and then holding them to account.”

When contacted on phone, Enugu State Police Spokesman, Ebere Amaraizu, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) confirmed the incident saying that the police have apprehended seven suspects in connection with the killings.

“We are on top of the matter. We have made seven arrests and we are moving on to unveil the perpetrators and those who pulled the trigger. The killers must be brought to book” Amaraizu said adding that the situation has been brought under control and normalcy returned to the community.