Anambra House Demolition: Man Cries Out, Alleges Injustice

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If you have the time to read it, you can. It just shows how
Nigeria is still way ‘backward’.
On Wednesday, October 8, 2014 when Anambra State government
under His Excellency, Chief Dr. Willie Obiano, rolled out fifteen buses loaded
with fully armed policemen, accompanied with a low bed truck conveying an
excavator, little did Chief Ernest Nnadike of Inyaba Umudim, Nnewi North L.G.A
who is a successful businessman based in Aba, Abia State, know that his
ancestral home at Nnewi was marked for demolition.

The 56 year-old importer of block making machines in Aba
could not stand to watch Anambra State government and Nigeria Police Force
demolish his about 40 years old storey building in  a rather bizarre and painful manner.
           
Chief Ernest Nnadike fought back tears as he narrated how it
all started in 2012 during the governorship of His Excellency, Mr. Peter Obi.
According to Chief Nnadike, in 2005, after the burial and
funeral ceremonies of his junior brother Chief Benjamin Nnadike were concluded,
as I was about to go back to his business base which is Aba, I asked one
Lotanna Enemuo from Umuezena who is my maternal uncle to be taking care of his
house in village Inyaba Umudim.
           
“In Chief Nnadike’s words, I gave Lotanna definite
instruction that on no account will he bring anybody into the house under any
guise. I also asked him to take care of the economic trees and use the proceeds
for the upkeep of his family while he should consult me for any major repair in
the house”.
“From that 2005, I did not visit home again till about
October 2012 when someone from my village called me and told me that some
kidnapers were arrested in his house by men of Special Anti Robbery Squad
(SARS). He further told him that the kidnappers were tenants in my house. I
quickly put a call to Lotanna Enemuo but it was not going and I came down to
Nnewi the following day”.
           
“When I arrived my ancestral home at Nnewi, both Lotanna
Enemuo and his wife were not at home, they were with the police at Awkuzu. I
then discovered that Lotanna went against my instruction and rented a section
of the boys quarter to those two criminals without my knowledge”.
           
“The next day I went to the Special Anti Robbery Squad
(SARS) in Awkuzu to meet the police, incase they were looking for the landlord.
After introducing myself as the landlord to the police authority, the police
told me that their investigation did not indict me and told me that the
Officer-In-charge of SARS at Awkuzu, Mr. Nwafor had gone to Nnewi in
continuation of the investigation. I left Awkuzu to SARS office in Nnewi where
I met Mr. Nwafor”.
           
“I introduced myself to Mr. Nwafor and told him what I knew.
Mr. Nwafor gave me a clean bill of health, telling me that their investigation
has exonerated me. The O.C SARS further told me that the suspected kidnappers
even told them that they cannot identify the house owner since they have not
met him before their arrest. I thanked the police for their good work”.
           
“On December 22, 2012, Chief Ernest Nnadike, his wife and
children reportedly left Aba to spend their Christmas holiday at Nnewi, and for
his children to get acquainted with their kith and kin after a long time
outside home. On getting to their home at Nnewi, he reportedly met another
detachment of heavily armed policemen in his compound with the wife of Lotanna
Enemuo. The family became afraid, and on getting down from his car,Chief
Nnadike approached and introduced himself to the leader of the team. He was
welcomed and told that they were the police officers that sacked the kidnappers
from his house, and were there only to conclude their investigation. They asked
him to feel free and go into his house with his family and enjoy their
holidays”.
           
“Initially, nobody understood what was happening when I was
called in the late hours of Tuesday, October 7, 2014 by the man who was the new
caretaker of my house in Nnewi, informing me that a team of policemen came to
my house, informing them that his house was to be demolished the next day being
Wednesday October 8, 2014 by Governor Willie Obiano’s administration”. In fact
it was so much confusion for Chief Ernest Nduka and his family at Aba,
especially as he did not understand where the instruction of his house demolition
was coming from and what actually informed the unholy and unjustifiable
punishment against him”.
           
As a man who believes so much in equity and justice and a
good Nigerian citizen trained in United States of America, he asked his people
if there was any paper served to his caretaker on his behalf and the answer was
none. He said that from October 2012 till the day his house was demolished on
October 8, 2014, neither the police nor any court in the land has invited him
for interrogation justified the recent which would have action against an
Innocent man”.
           
Having been told that the oral information was that his
house was to be demolished by 10am on that fateful day, he left Aba early in
the morning of Wednesday, October 8, 2014 and arrived Nnewi at about 9a.m. He
was there when about fifteen buses fully loaded arrived his premises with
heavily armed policemen and government officials from Awka at about 11 a.m.
Shortly after their arrival, a low bed truck carrying an excavator arrived.
            
“There was so much confusion in the street and adjoining
neighborhood. There were shouts and cries from the members of the community,
saying that God should not allow this injustice to happen to an innocent man,
this man doesn’t even live in Nnewi, we know him as a genuine transparent man,
he was not a kidnapper, why this punishment? Go and demolish the house of the
caretaker who knows the kidnappers, and so on”.
           
The decision has been taken and nobody could have listened
to the voice of justice unless the executive governor of Anambra State, Chief
Dr. Willie Obiano who is believed in all quarters in the state to have taken
the war against all forms of crime to the door steps of the criminals. He has
made Anambra State environment unconducive for the hoodlums. The instruction
was finally carried out and the ancestral home of Chief Ernest Nnadike was
reduced to rubbles in a few minutes.
           
“Villagers even volunteered to take the demolishing team to
the house of the perpetrator, Lotanna Enemuo, Chief Ernest Nnadike’s maternal
uncle from Umuezena village Umudim Nnewi, which is not up to 300 meters away
from Chief Nnadike’s house to be demolished. They maintained that it was
Lotanna who rented the house to the kidnappers in 2011 without the consent of
Chief Nnadike who never came home since after the death of his loved junior
brother in 2005. All these explanations did not make sense to the demolition
team.
           
The demolition has left Chief Ernest Nnadike in a shadow of
himself. He is not supporting the activities of kidnappers and other heinous
crimes in Nigeria as a whole. Chief Ernest Nnadike believes that Nigeria has
attained a good height in civilization and our democracy has given the common
man the opportunity to explain himself in matters like this. He is of the
opinion that even in a military dispensation, people have ample opportunity to
explain himself in matters like this
           
In his own case, it is painful that he was not given any
opportunity to explain himself, and moreover it was an incident that happened
in 2012 under Mr. Peter Obi who was the governor of Anambra state when it was
passed as working rule by Anambra State House of Assembly. Mr. Obi saw what
happened and reasoned along that line.
           
The government at that time understood the circumstance that
brought his home into the kidnap saga in Umudim Nnewi and police finally gave
their clean bill of health to Chief Ernest Nnadike
           
It is more painful that it was the same officer-in-charge of
SARS in 2012 Mr. Nwafor when Chief Nnadike was exonerated of any criminal
involvement that was still in charge on October 8, 2014 when the same ancestral
home was demolished. It becomes clear that some people are misleading the state
government which they took oath to protect.
           
If there is any need to revisit what happened in 2012, Chief
Nnadike is of the opinion that he should be invited by the police authority for
balanced investigation but nobody invited him.
           
He is a successful business man and has known address in
Aba. An elephant does not hide in a market place.
           
Chief Nnadike argued that buildings being demolished in that
regard are either those which kidnappers used the proceeds from the ransom paid
by the relations of the kidnapped victims in building or where the owner of the
house is a member of the gang that is being destroyed.
           
In his own case, Chief Nnadike stated that not any time did
he rent his house to kidnappers nor get involved in any of their nefarious
activities. He built his one storey- building about 40 years ago and was not
mentioned as a member of any gang of kidnappers or armed robbers.
            
“It is really worrisome that the administration of governor
Peter Obi, under which the incident took place, really went into the nitty
gritties of this matter and did not tamper with my ancestral home, only for it
to be re-visited without due process and bring down my house. I strongly
believe that the action was not ordinary. Some people are out for mischief”
           
“It is the duty of the government to protect life and
property of her citizens and not to destroy life and property. The man who
rented my house without my knowledge to those kidnappers is now walking tall in
the community and his house is still standing”.
           
Chief Nnadike who is in a state of agony wondered why he
should be a victim. Presently he is consulting with his people and has asked
his lawyers to write the state government on the matter. It is absurd that in
this day and age, demolition of a house of an “innocent man” should be condoned
by anybody. Government should promote the greatest good of the greatest number,
and should indeed be committed to the promotion of justice, peace and fair
play.

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