From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Awka
Amichi community in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra state has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari and his wife , Aisha Buhari to use their good offices to prevail on one of their sons, Mr Eric Umeofia, the Chairman and CEO of Erisco Products Limited from further harassment, arrest and detention of the innocent people of Amichi with Nigerian Police Force.
The community petitioned as well the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, as well as the commissioner of Police Anambra State, Mr. Garba Umar. The petition was copied as well as other prominent citizens of Nigeria to call Mr. Eric Umeofia, Chief Magistrate Igbosere Magistrate Court, and AIG Zone 2, Lagos headquarters, to order for an end to the capricious arrest and intimidation of innocent citizens of Amichi community in Anambra State. Amichi Community as well asked Mr Eric Umeofia to desist from using his alleged connection to President Muhammadu Buhari to cause anarchy and chaos in the peaceful town of Amichi.
President General Ebenator Okpala Development Union Amichi, Chief Francis Okafor is the signatory of the petition entitled ‘’the village bully’’ which pointed many things Mr Eric Umeofia did against innocent citizens of Amichi and it reads in part:
‘’ We, the citizens of Ebenator Okpala Development Union Amichi and Amichi in general, are requesting and calling on Her Excellency, Aisha Buhari, to restrain Eric Umeofia who goes about claiming and boasting that Aisha Buhari is her wife’s friend, from using the police to intimidate poor innocent citizens in Amichi. We cry to the President of the Federation, Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, the Commissioner of Police Anambra State, Mr. Garba Umar, and the good citizens of Nigeria to call Mr. Eric Umeofia, Chief Magistrate Igbosere Magistrate Court, and AIG Zone 2, Lagos headquarters, to order an end to the capricious arrest and intimidation of innocent citizens of Amichi community in Anambra State. That Mr. Eric Umeofia should desist from using his alleged connection to President Muhammadu Buhari to cause anarchy and chaos in the peaceful town of Amichi’’.
The entire Amichi community presented an analytical situation of how Mr Eric Umeofia is destroying Amichi Community: ‘’Amichi is a town located in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State. Amichi has produced prominent Nigerians, such as Late Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke (Former Speaker of House of Representatives), Chief Simon Okeke (Former Chairman of Police Service Commission), Chief Chidi Anyaegbu (Chisco Transport), Chief Mike Umeh (The Former Vice-Chairman of NFF), and so on.
‘’One son of Amichi, Eric Umeofia, is the owner and CEO of Erisco products limited. Eric Umeofia is the seventh son of Chief Edwin Okonkwo Umeohia in Ebenator Okpala Village in Amichi. Amichi has its normal challenges that are prevalent in other communities in Igbo land. Eric Umeofia is wealthy enough to use his financial muscle to inject some life into the economy of Amichi, and to help his kindred. That is just not the case. It is one thing to be wealthy and refuse to help the poor, it is another to use your wealth to wield power to intimidate your brothers, kinsmen, village, quarter, the traditional ruler of your town, and to trespass and destroy other people’s properties.
Naturally, such insidious acts require colour of authority to be effective. Mr. Eric Umeofia, in connivance with the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) has subjected Amichi indigenes to arbitrary and capricious arrests founded under the supremacy of money.
As recently as October 9, 2018, Mr. Eric Umeofia, in collaboration with the police in Zone 9, Umuahia, arrested and detained Mr. Emeka Muoneme under a phantom charge. Mr. Emeka Muoneme hails from the same Ebenator Okpala village in Amichi, as does Eric Umeofia. Mr. Emeka Muoneme divorced himself from the clique under the control of Eric Umeofia. In order to dissuade other defectors, Mr. Eric Umeofia sought the services of the NPF in Zone 9, to cow Mr. Muoneme and deter others from defecting.
‘’Similarly, on September 13, 2018, Mr. Eric Umeofia engaged the police in Zone 2 in Lagos State to arrest Mr. Francis Okafor, Mr. Emeka Muoneme, and Paulinus Muoneme. Mr. Okafor, and Mr. Emeka Muoneme, were both in Amichi during the attempted arrest. HRH DR Ofobuike Ezeoke, Igwe Amichi, thwarted the arrest by insisting that the suspects must be summoned via invitation and not by immediate arrest. The police from Zone 2 Lagos left without effecting any arrest.
‘’One week later, Mr. Eric Umeofia used the Police in Lagos Zone 2 to finally arrest Mr. Francis Okafor while Francis Okafor was visiting his family in Lagos. To exacerbate the arrest, the case was immediately charged to the Magistrate Court in Igbosere, Lagos. The Magistrate delayed the pronouncement of bail for Francis Okafor until he had spent three days in custody. Mr. Okafor finally made bail of one hundred thousand Naira, and was released. We were informed that Eric Umeofia paid the AIG in Zone 2, Mr. Adamu Ibrahim, the sum of Six Million Naira, to conduct the illegal arrests of Eric Umeofia’s kinsmen, and charge them immediately to the Magistrate Court in Igbosere.
‘’Mr Francis Okafor is the President General of Ebenator Okpala Development Union Amichi in Nnewi South, Anambra state. Chief Francis Onyeuno Okafor is a successful business man in Lagos. When Mr Francis Okafor rejected and refused Eric Umeofia’s overtures to control the village, Eric Umeofia offered bribery to Mr Francis Okafor to release the certificate of in cooperation of Ebenator Okpala Development Union to him for reason best known to him. Mr Francis Okafor turned down his offer. In retaliation, Eric Umeofia formed his own Ebenator Okpala meeting known as Okpala Obi Development Union, which caused the village to split in two. Fortunately, Eric Umeofia’s elder brother, Chief Emmanuel Umeohia, KSC, OON(Ide Okpala Amichi), supports Mr Francis Okafor and his administration, to the chagrin of Mr. Umeofia.
‘’Despite the fact that Eric Umeofia formed his own Ebenator Okpala village meeting, Eric Umeofia uses the police to harass and intimidate the president of his village, Francis Okafor. Eric Umeofia insisted that Francis Okafor and rest of his kinsmen must adhere to his orders without a sniff of challenge in Ebenator Okpala. Failure to do so culminated into arbitrary arrests of his kinsmen and frivolously charging them to Igbosere court. Eric Umeofia, with the aid of the Nigerian Police Force, has been a thorn in the lives of the innocent people of Amichi.
‘’Sometime in 2015, the same Eric Umeofia used the then AIG in Zone 9 Umuahia, to seek an attempt to arrest and detain his prominent brother, Chief Emmanuel Umeohia, CEO Emab Plaza (KSC, OON, Ide Okpala-Amichi) despite the fact that it is Chief Emmanuel Umeohia that trained and nurtured Mr Eric Umeofia. Chief Umeohia stayed in his home for two days before some Amichi indigenes and his good friend convinced the AIG to rescind the attempted arrest and detention.
‘’In August of 2017, Mr. Eric Umeofia ordered the use of bulldozer to demolish the homes of members of his village, including the property belonging to Professor Emmanuel Ezeani. Professor Ezeani sued Mr. Umeofia for criminal trespass and malicious destruction of property. The case is pending in Nnewi High Court.
‘’On March 6th 2017, Mr Eric Umeofia destroyed the shops of late Mr Chiemelu Anumba located at old Eke Amichi Market. The efforts of the erstwhile Amichi DPO to restrain him on that fateful morning proved abortive as he claimed superiority over the DPO. The shop does not belong to Mr. Umeofia, the shops were not built in his land, and the shops were not occupied by him or any of his siblings. What led to Eric Umeofia action in demolishing those shops remains mysterious to Anumba family. Eric Umeofia threatened to arrest Anumba family if they dared to challenge his heinous act. The demolished shops remains demolished as of today. The Anumba family has no one to speak on its behalf.
‘’In August of 2015, Mr. Eric Umeofia hired the police from the Force Headquarters in Abuja to arrest His Royal Highness, Dr. Ofobuike Ezeoke, Igwe of Amichi. In his complaint, Mr. Umeofia claimed that Igwe Ezeoke hired assassins to murder him in Lagos. At the time, Igwe Ezeoke was in the US. When the IGP summoned Eric Umeofia to reiterate his claim against Igwe Ezeoke, Umeofia abandoned the matter till today. He paid Suleiman Abba, the sum of Six Million Naira to arrest Igwe Ezeoke. Through the intervention of Chief Simon Okeke, the plot was thwarted.
‘’Mr. Umeofia has caused a lot of rift in Amichi. Some of them include the use of the local Amichi Youths and the President General of Amichi Development Union to harass innocent citizens. He wastes inordinate amount of money every day to destabilize the town and cause unnecessary fear on anyone who dared to challenge him in Amichi. Some of the prominent men in Amichi stay away from him and his reckless acts to avoid wasteful confrontations.
‘’His most recent escapades are spurred by his brags that he knows the wife of our President, Her Excellency, Aisha Buhari. Mr. Umeofia claims that upon the snap of his fingers, Aisha will send him the police necessary to harass innocent citizens. Eric Umeofia parades himself in Amichi with police motorcade with blaring siren as warning to his perceived enemies that he is in town.
‘’On August 30, 2017, the retired AIG Ali Amodu, with the Force Headquarters in Abuja invited Eric Umeofia and Chief Emmanuel Umeohia to appear before him to settle their dispute and to restrain Eric Umeofia. Chief Emmanuel Umeohia appeared at the Force Headquarters with three Igwes from Igbo Land, but Eric Umeofia failed to appear. The matter is still pending.
‘’When Eric Umeofia realized that he could no longer convince the IGP’s office in Abuja to use police to harass Amichi citizens, he quickly pivoted to AIG, Mr. Adamu Ibrahim, at the Lagos Headquarters Zone 2. AIG Mr Adamu Ibrahim, is the latest police stooge that Eric Umeofia is pumping with funds to arrest innocent Amichi citizens.
The petition concluded: ‘’Mr. Eric Umeofia has tagged himself as THE BUHARI OF AMICHI, proclaiming that he is above the law and untouchable. The Nigerian Police Force is in collaboration with Mr. Eric Umeofia to cause disharmony and chaos in Amichi by their incessant arrests and intimidation of innocent Amichi citizens, in violation of the fundamental human right of innocent citizens. The arrests and intimidations seem to occur every three to six months’’.