Alleged Kidnapping: Enugu Communities Protest Detention Of Man For Three Months Without Trial

Alleged Kidnapping:  Enugu Communities Protest Detention Of Man For Three Months Without Trial

The people of Opi and Ekwegbe communities in Enugu State have marched to the Government House to protest the continued detention of their son, Onyekachi Ugwu, in Enugu custodial centre over alleged kidnapping.

Mr Ugwu, who is from Opi community and counsel to Ekwegbe community on land matters, had been in detention for over three months over his arrest for alleged cyber-stalking (use of digital technology to harass someone) against the former secretary to the state government, Dan Shere.

It was gathered that when the bail application for Mr Ugwu (a lawyer) came up at the Enugu Magistrate Court, Mr Shere brought in a new petition against Mr Ugwu as one of the persons that masterminded his (Shere’s) kidnap on Oct. 27, 2022.

Worried by his continued detention without any charge as the Magistrate Court declined jurisdiction to try the new charges, members of the communities marched to the Government House to seek Gov. Peter Mbah’s intervention for the release of their son.

Addressing journalists after submitting their petition to a representative of Mr Mbah on Saturday, Mr Ugwu’s mother, Monica Ugwu, pleaded with Mr Shere to bring home the matter to be resolved amicably.

Mrs Ugwu, who broke down in tears, said, “My son who has been a great friend and confidant of Dr. Shere, has been in detention for almost four months. I don’t know what went wrong and the brotherhood they shared was destroyed.

“I have gone on my knees to beg Dr. Shere to please bring the matter home and allow us know what went wrong but he has ignored all my pleas.”

When asked what her son’s offence was, Mrs Ugwu said, “My son is a lawyer and they said he was offering legal services to the people of Ekwegbe and that was the problem.

“In the midst of that, we started hearing that he was involved in kidnapping. My son is not a kidnapper, he is a lawyer and was contracted by the Ekwegbe community.

“He is a brother to Dan Shere, they are from the same village and community. I am on my knees and begging the government and Dr. Shere to please come to my aid and free my son.

“For almost four months I have not seen my son, the only thing I was told is that he is in a (correctional service) yard,” Ms Ugwu said while sobbing uncontrollably.

Also speaking, Fidelis Nweze from Ekwegbe community, said they (Ekwegbe people) contracted Mr Ugwu to help them secure their land of over 2,000 plots which they were at the verge of losing to some persons.

“We are stranded. We don’t know what is happening because we have always known Ugwu and he cannot be a kidnapper,” Mr Nweze said.

Explaining the controversy surrounding the land, he said they never sold their land but went into an agreement with the owners of Winners Chapel to release the land to them for a University Project.

He further explained, “Six villages in our community donated their lands to the church, which intends to build a university and we freely gave out the lands because we know of the enormous benefits a university will bring to our community.

“We have lost the university because the church did not come again to develop the land as they promised.

“We are supposed to sit down with them and put the oral promises made to our people on paper as well as tidy the negotiations.

“They promised to offer our children scholarships, make our son a member of the governing council of the University, and give us a percentage of the workforce for the junior cadre. They also promised to give the contract for the perimeter fencing to our people.”

He disclosed that the university never paid them for the land but made a monetary commitment to them which they said was a paltry sum because it is not enough to buy the land.

Conclusively, Mr Nweze called on Mr Mbah, whom he described as a listening leader, to come to their aid and ensure the release of their lawyer and their land not encroached into.

All efforts to contact Mr Shere for comments failed as he’s yet to respond to several calls and phone messages sent to his mobile line on the matter.

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