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Man petitions police over banishment by Enugu community



A criminologist, Mr Simon Ebulu, has sent a petition to the Commissioner of Police in Enugu State over his alleged banishment from his ancestral village, Amofia-Agu, Affa in Udi Local Government Area of the state.

In the petition dated Oct. 15, which he made available to newsmen on Sunday in Enugu, Ebulu, stated that the banishment was an infringement on his fundamental rights by leaders of the village.

The criminologist, who recently relocated to Nigeria from the United States of America (U.S.A), said that he was not given a fair hearing before the decision was taken.

According to him, the leadership of the village grew livid when he reported a case of alleged criminal intimidation, stalking and threat to his life by some of his kinsmen to the police.

He alleged that some young men from the village had attempted to kidnap him on the Amofia-Agu Road on his way to Enugu on Aug. 20.

“This is a road with high criminality record in which about six persons have been shot dead and seven kidnapped in the last 15 years, but I managed to escape.

“Following an intelligence report while in the village on Sept. 4, and knowing that violent crimes have been on the increase there, I called the police to escort me out to Enugu,’’ he added.

He also stated that on Oct. 15, a bus load of guests coming for the burial of his mother-in-law was prevented from gaining access to the community because of his alleged banishment.

“They requested for N200, 000 from me in order to allow those going for the burial to go through,” Ebulu also stated.

He alleged also that he had been ostracised by the villagers who would neither greet him nor sell anything to him.

Ebulu said that since the death of the village’s traditional ruler, the actions of the leadership of the village could be best described as hate crime.

He said that he had returned home hoping to find peace after a meritorious service in the USA only to be faced with anti-human practices imposed on the community.

“All these actions have caused me financial loss and mental anguish. They are meant to ridicule me and impugn on my integrity.

“I wonder when it became a crime to report a matter to the police,” Ebulu stressed.

When contacted, the President-General, Amofia Autonomous Community, Mr Sebastine Odenigbo, said that he did not attend the meeting where the decision to banish Ebulu was taken.

“The matter should not have gotten to that level. I have instructed the other leaders to reverse the decision,” he said.

Odenigbo described the custom of banishment as archaic and anti-human.

The Chairman of Amofia-Agu General Assembly, Mr Johnson Okolo, however, said that Ebulu would only be reintegrated into the village after paying the fine imposed on him.

Okolo accused Ebulu of inviting the police to arrest some executive members of the General Assembly, including the vice-chairman, Mr Peter Odenigbo.

“If not that I ran away, I would have been arrested too,” he said.

Also, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO, Enugu State Command, ASP Daniel Ndukwe, said that his attention had been drawn to the petition, but that he needed to refer to some records to take a position.

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