The Oruku Community indigenes on Monday stormed the premises of Enugu State Government House to protest the killing of their traditional ruler, Igwe Emmanuel Mbah, alleging police complicity in the murder of the royal father on December 26, 2020.
Two weeks incident, the Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had inaugurated a judicial Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice Harold Eya to investigate into the remote and immediate cause of the brutal murder of the royal father.
The protest took off as early as 8am , the Community had besieged the main entrance to the Government House demanding that the police should be excluded in the judicial commission of inquiry as set up by the state government, pointing fingers at police complicity in the murder of their royal father on December 26, 2020.
The protesters who were mostly old men and women, came to Government House in four loaded 508 buses and other vehicles
In presenting their petition, the Chairman of Oruku Caretaker Committee, Chief Ikenna Martin Nwatu, appealed to the Chief of Staff, Government House, Enugu, Dr Festus Uzo, who stood in for Governor Ugwuanyi, to come to their aid in fishing out the killers of their ruler for justice to reign.
“We, the people of Oruku are begging you to assist us in getting justice for Igwe Emmanuel Mbah who was brutally murdered. We do not trust the police investigation into the killing of late Igwe Emmanuel Mbah”
“We plead with you to use your good office to ensure that the Department of Security Service (DSS) is involved in the investigation so that justice will prevail”
“We are now in fear as the killing of traditional ruler shows that nobody is safe in our community any more. It is not war between Oruku and Umuode communities but war within the community. It is an internal war. Our houses and other valuable property are burnt and nobody is talking. It is sponsored by some of our public figures who feel they must rule us at all cost”
Responding, the Chief of Staff, Dr Uzor, commended the villagers for being law abiding in their demonstration, reminding them that the state government had since set up a judicial commission of inquiry with a view to getting the culprits as well as restoring a lasting peace in the community.
Dr Uzor reminded the protesters that his boss, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, in setting up the panel, urged the people of the community to walk the way of peace, which his administration had strived to maintain and nurture in the state.
His words: “I will convey your message to our Governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and I am sure he will listen to your demand. However, I have to correct an impression. The police is not part of the judicial commission. The police is doing their own independent investigation. The DSS is also doing theirs.
“You recall that the terms of reference of the panel constituted by Governor Ugwuanyi, is in pursuant to Section 4(1) of the Commission of Inquiry Law, Cap. 24, Revised Laws of Enugu State 2004, and it included to ascertain the number of persons killed or injured, identify persons, group or institutions who either by acts or omissions were directly or indirectly involved in, or sponsored the crisis, and investigate any other matter(s) that may come to the knowledge of the Panel in the course of the inquiry, not covered in these terms of reference.
“Others are to make recommendations regarding persons whom the Panel finds culpable and/or blameworthy in connection with the crisis, and generally make recommendations, in the light of its findings, on how to prevent similar crisis in future and make other recommendations which the panel may consider appropriate in view of its findings”
It was also observed that the unhappy natives marched to Enugu State House of Assembly Complex where they presented their matter before returning to their community.
At the State House of Assembly, the Spokesman of the Community told the Clerk of the House, Dr Emma Udaya, who received them on behalf of the Speaker, Honourable Edward Ubosi, pointed that leadership crisis was the main issue of the crisis, indicating that some powerful could be behind the killing of the traditional ruler.
Although the House was not in session, Dr Udaya promised to convey their message to the Speaker of the House.