From Maurice Okafor, Enugu
CThe Enugu state police command said that normalcy has been restored at new artisan market Enugu and five suspects among the hoodlums who wrecked havoc in the market yesterday has been arrested.
Mayhem broke out at new artisan market which is a cattle market located along Enugu to Port Harcourt express way immediately after the NNPC mega filling station,as some of the traders resisted demolition of their stalls by the owners of the plots in which the market situates.
The owners, the Nwajanja family from Akpugo in Nksnu East local government area of Enugu state accompanied by the police had gone to the market to execute ejection order granted them by an Enugu high court so as to recover their plots of land.
But the execution order was opposed by the traders and alleged hoodlums seized the opportunity to shhot sporadically rob people along the road and set many cars ablaze. The police left the chaotic situation for their own safety.It was said the guns used by the hoodlums are more sophisticated than that of the police.
But in a press statement issued in Enugu this morning signed by the state Police Public relations officer ASP Dan Ndukwe, the police said normalcy had been restored in the area and urged the general public to ho about their normal business. He said the state commissioner of police has ordered thorough investigation to fish out the perpetrators.
The Police press statement states,
“The Commissioner of Police, Enugu State Command, *CP Mohammed Ndatsu Aliyu, psc*, has ordered the immediate launch of thorough investigation to fish out and bring to book, miscreants whose acts of violence led to the sustaining of injuries by innocent citizens, vandalism and burning of vehicles at New Artisan Market, along Enugu/Port-Harcourt Expressway, Enugu at about 4.00pm of today, 22/04/2021.
“Preliminary investigation reveals that the unscrupulous elements within the Market, became riotous and resisted the execution of a Court Order issued by High Court of Enugu State, authorizing the demolition of structures and possession of the land area covering the Market by Nwajanja Family of Akpugo in Nkanu East L.G.A. of the State. It further shows that the unwarranted rioters set up burn-fires on the road, obstructed vehicular movement, injured unascertained number of persons, vandalized two (2) caterpillars that had gone to carry out the demolition exercise and set ablaze three (3) vehicles.
” Meanwhile, normalcy has been restored by Police Operatives, while fives (5) persons connected with the riotous act have been arrested and are helping ongoing investigation.
” Consequently, the Commissioner has enjoined law-abiding members of the public, especially those plying the NNPC Mega Station axis of Enugu/Port-Harcourt Expressway, to go about their lawful businesses without fear of intimidation or harassment, as necessary measures have taken to forestall further occurrence of the riotous act”.