The people of Obollo in Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State are currently sitting on a keg of gunpowder following a worsening land dispute.

Residents say if urgent measures were not taken, the escalating dispute may spiral to bloodbath in the area.

At a press briefing in Enugu over the weekend, the Obollo people said a former governor of Enugu State was instigating the crisis in a bid to take over a large expanse of land measuring over 70 hectares.

They brandished a petition already written to the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Kayode Agbetokun, in which they accused the former governor of using his allies to instigate the crisis in the community in order to grab their communal land.

The petition, dated December 21, 2023, made available to DAILY POST, was signed by the Donee, Power of Attorney, Oha Obollo in Council, Chief Matthew Agu.

Tracing the genesis of the crisis, Agu said that the former governor had solicited for a large expanse of land for the establishment of a dry sea port in Obollo-Afor, a request that was granted on 9th August, 2015, with the understanding that it was for public good.

He said, “But as the years rolled by, we discovered that he had tricked us into donating the land. It was clear that he was planning to grab the property for his personal use. We kicked against it because that land is not for anybody’s personal use.

“Seeing that he could not achieve his plan of taking the land for himself, through the dry sea port story, he resorted to engineering one of the clans in the community to claim ownership of the property, against an existing court order indicating that the land belongs to the entire Oha Obollo and not one particular clan.”

Agu also narrated several attempts made by the ex-governor through a serving police chief who hails from the same local government area to frustrate efforts to resolve the issue legally, alleging that the police in the state had been compromised.

“Inspector General, this is a high-level conspiracy against Obollo people to incriminate and clamp my people to jail.

“Recall that in my petition dated August 21, 2023, I told you about how a DIG, then a CP, had made himself available to make sure that my people of Obollo were dealt with criminally.

“Same with a former governor of the state who wanted this property for official purposes, but when the property was made available to him for that very purpose, he reneged and wanted to personalise our property using other guises.

“He has used his appointees and these he aided in the police force together with the judiciary to make sure that my people are destroyed to the extent that the police in Enugu turn a blind eye to whatever the judgement debtors do but flames to high heaven at the slightest opportunity to incriminate my people.

“In 2018, I, the leader of the community, was clamped to the prison yard, where I spent 8 days, and when the DPP wrote their report that I am the rightful owner of the property and brought me out of the prison yard, the then governor insisted that the then Attorney General must resign. This was to be, but for the intervention of late Justice C.C. Nweze of the Supreme Court.

“In my said petition of August 21, you recall how the DIG stopped the police who came all the way from Zone 13 and made arrests of the suspects for arson, conspiracy, and willful damage to our property, ordered that the suspects should be released, and also boasted to the police officers that came for the arrest how he had masterminded the striking out of criminal charges against the suspects by the force CID Enugu Annex after he failed to stop them from investigation.

“I strongly suspect that the OC Legal has been compromised to ensure that the judgement debtors are in occupation while the judgement creditors go on a wild goose chase of seeking due process.”

He pleaded with the IGP to intervene so as not to allow the anger of members of the community snowball into a full-blown crisis that could consume many lives and property.

He urged the the police boss to investigate the matter and return the judgement creditors back to their property.

Alleged land grabbing: Enugu community warns of impending mayhem, fingers ex-governor

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