Indigenes of Opi and Ekwegbe communities in Enugu State on Saturday, invaded the Government House, Enugu, to protest against continued detention of their son, Mr Onyekachi Ugwu, over alleged kidnapping.
Ugwu, who is from Opi community in Nsukka LGA and counsel to Ekwegbe community, had been in detention for over three-month over his arrest for alleged cyber-stalking (use of digital technology to harass someone) against the former Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Dan Shere.
It was gathered that when the bail application for Ugwu (a lawyer) came up at the Enugu Magistrate Court, Shere brought in new petition against Ugwu as one of the persons that masterminded his (Shere’s) kidnap on Oct. 27, 2022.
Worried by his continued detention without any charge as the Magistrate Court declined jurisdiction to try the new charges, the communities marched to the Government House to seek the help of Gov. Peter Mbah intervention for the release of their son.
Addressing Journalists after submitting their petition to a representative of Gov. Peter Mbah on Saturday, the mother of Ugwu, Mrs Monica Ugwu pleaded with Shere to bring whatever the matter is home to be resolved amicably and called on government intervention. .
Mrs. Ugwu, who broke down in tears, said: “My son who has been a great friend and confidant of Dr. Shere has been in detention for almost four months. I don’t know what went wrong and the brotherhood they shared was destroyed.
“I have gone on my knees to beg Dr. Shere to please bring the matter home let us know what went wrong but he has ignored all my pleas.”
When asked what she was told her son did, the mother said: “my son is a lawyer and they said he was offering legal services to the people of Ekwegbe and that was the problem.
“In the midst of that, we started hearing that he was involved in kidnapping. My son is not a kidnapper, he is a lawyer and was contracted by Ekwegbe community people.
“He is a brother to Dan Shere, they are from the same village and community. I am on knees and begging the government and Dr. Shere to please come to my aid and let my son free.
“For almost four months I have not seen my son, the only thing I was told is that he is in a (correctional service) yard,” Mrs Ugwu said while sobbing uncontrollably.
Also speaking, Chief Fidelis Nweze from Ekwegbe community in Igbo-Etiti LGA, said they (Ekwegbe people) contracted Ugwu to help them secure their over 2,000 plots of land which they are at the risk of losing to some persons.
“We are stranded. We don’t know what is happening because we have always known Ugwu and he cannot be a kidnapper,” Nweze said.
Explaining the controversy surrounding the land, he said they never sold their land but went into an agreement with the owners of Winners Chapel to release the land to them for a University Project.
He further explained: “Six villages in our community donated their lands to the church because we know of the enormous benefits a university will bring to our community.
“We have lost the university because the church did not come again to develop the land again as they promised.
“We are supposed to sit down with them and put the oral promises made to our people on paper as well as tidy the negotiations.
“They promised to give our children scholarship, make our son a member of the governing council of the University, and give us a percentage of the work force for the junior cadre. They also promised to give the contract for the perimeter fencing to our people.”
He disclosed that the university never paid them for the land but made a monetary commitment to them which they said was a paltry sum because it is not enough to buy the land.
Conclusively, Nweze called on the Gov. Peter Mbah, whom he described as a listening leader, to come to their aid and ensure the release of their lawyer and their land not encroached into.
All efforts to contact Dr Dan Shere for comments failed as he’s yet to respond to several calls and SMS sent to his mobile line on the matter.
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