No fewer than 10 people were wounded, while one person was declared missing with goods and money worth over N50 million looted when some unidentified hoodlums attacked a market, known as Ugo-Gbuzue Ochakee Cow and Goat Market/Abattoir, in Osile Ogbunike, Ogbunike Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The traders and butchers operating at Ugo-Gbuzue Ochakee Cow and Goat Market/Abattoir have sent a Save our Soul, SOS, message to Anambra State government and the state Commissioner of Police to protect them from yet-to-be identified people, who allegedly invaded the market and carted away their goods and money.
Chairman of the market/abattoir, Mr Ikechukwu Ejike, accused the people of Ezinkwelle, Nkwelle-Ezunaka, who are also laying claim to the market land, of invading them with over 25 police vehicles and 50 policemen.
He said the police shot sporadically to scare everybody away before they looted their money and goods.
Meanwhile, Osile Ogbunike residents, who are the landlords of the groups, through the Chairman of Osile Ogbunike village, Sir Donatus Mbanefo, have called on Anambra State Government to put a stop to such invasion, attacks and looting of their tenants’ goods and money to avoid shedding of blood, warning that the community will never tolerate such assault on their tenants or people again.
Flanked by his Treasurer, Mr Okechukwu Okakpu; community lawyer, Kenechukwu Ejimkonye and others, Mbanefo wondered why the people of Ezinkwelle have decided to be a thorn in their flesh over land matters they lost three times: 1927, 1931 and 2012 at the Supreme Court.
“We decided to hold our youths not to confront them, but our shock was that they were in company of over 50 policemen, who watched while they were destroying and looting goods and money.
However, Chairman of Ezinkwelle village, Nkwelle-Ezunaka, Chief Wilfred Okafor, has dismissed Osile Ogbunike community, Supreme Court victories against them, saying Osili Ogbunike community has never won any case at the Supreme Court.
“All the Supreme Court victories Osile Ogbunike people have been parading were against other communities, not Ezinkwelle. We won in a high court and were in Appeal Court when they entered the portion of our land trying to sell before we stopped them.
“The Ugo-Gbuzue Ochakee Cow and Goat Market/Abbartour, the Osile Ogbunike people are claiming is the portion of our land, which the Anambra State Boundary Commission gave us in the land demarcation we had with Osile Ogbunike and Agu Umunya.
Contacted, the Police spokesman in the state, Mr Haruna Mohammed, said police presence at the market/abattoir on the day of the incident was to execute court order on the land secured by Ezinkwelle village, Nkwelle-Ezunaka.
“There was court judgment on that land, which the court bailiff came to execute. They needed police cover for security and some policemen accompanied them to execute the order.
“However, in the process of doing that unknown persons started shooting with a locally made gun from the bush and bullet hit two persons. They were rushed to the hospital and were treated and discharged. Nobody died in the incident, nobody is missing as alleged.”