Ogidi death: Igwe Onyido clears air, calls for cleansing

Traditional Ruler of Ogidi Town, Igwe Alexander Onyido has cleared the air on recent crisis in Ogidi Community that resulted in the death of one Mr Chike Okoye, a youth of the community.

There was a sad story circulating online of an Ogidi youth, who died as a result of alleged land tussle between some youths and their traditional ruler.

The youths angrily dumped Okoye’s body at the Igwe’s palace and disappeared.

Reacting to the incident, Igwe Onyido declared that the incident had nothing to do with land tussle, as earlier published.

He was quoted as saying: “I have a factory in Ogidi, at Uru Eze-Alor and a lot of people have been employed by me in the factory.

“Beside, the factory, there is a government road, which was constructed by the state government with drainages without slabs for people to use to cross.

“So, I decided to construct a slab because many of my staff members had fallen inside the drainage many times.

“Around September last year, I saw some group of village youths, more than 50 of them that destroyed the slabs.

“When confronted, they said they heard that I was building a house on the land close to my factory but I told them I was constructing a slab not a house.

“They destroyed the slabs and molested my workers and it was at this point that I invited the Ogidi Divisional Police.

“Following my petition, the police invited them; some of those who went to the station were granted bail, but their leader, Mr Gozie Obidi never honoured the invitation.

“Each time the Police called to arrest Obidi, will jump over his fence.

“Following death of his mother in Lagos, Ogidi Union, led by Chief Chuka Onugbogu suggested they get back to police to make peace and for Mr Obidi to apologise for malicious damages that he had perpetuated.

“This led Ogidi Town’s PG to take him to the police to make a statement but the DPO refused to grant him bail, asking his friends that he came with him to come the following day for his bail.

“Surprisingly, around 7am on that day, the PG called to inform me that some youths were organising a protest. When I inquired, they had already blocked the major roads chanting war songs, threatening to destroy police property.

“The PG went there to seek Obidi’s bail and soon afterwards, he was bailed and some youths started mocking me, threatening the peace of the town.

This according to Igwe Onyido was a challenge and an act of lawlessness and so, I protested to the Commissioner of Police, who directed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to handle the matter.

“The CID arrested five people and took them to Awka.’’

The deceased, Okoye, who was among the leaders that organised the protest saw the police coming to his house and fled.

“Unfortunately, he got injured in the process. He was later rushed to Iyi-Enu Hospital Ogidi, but died later from injuries he sustained.

“When the youths heard of his death, they re-organised and alleged that he died as a result of land dispute and police assault.’’

Igwe Onyido urged the Community to remain calm allow the police to do their job.

He expressed displeasure at the youths that fanned embers of anarchy in the community as well as desecrated the palace by dumping a dead body there.

“As a custodian of the law and custom of Ogidi, I will take necessary steps to sanctify and cleanse the land.’’

When contacted, the Police Public Relation Officer, a Superintendent of Police, Mr Haruna Mohammed confirmed that Okoye’s death was as a result of his attempt to escape arrest.

“He jumped over a fence on sighting the police in Ogidi to affect the arrest of suspected trouble makers including late himself (Okoye), who was one of the leaders that instigated a protest to Ogidi Police Station.

“The Police will do everything necessary to allow the law to prevail.’’

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