Land Dispute - 70 Year Old Awgbu Man Found Dead in Farm

Oct 29, 2018

The remains of the late Mr Gilbert Nwaocha who was discovered in his farm seven days after his abduction by people suspected to be from a neighbouring community. The two villages of Abor-Ani, Awgbu, and Aronato, Ndikelionwu, are locked in dispute over land ownership.

By Nkiruka Egodi Okeke

A seventy year old man, Mr. Gilbert Nwaocha, has been found dead on Tuesday 23rd October 2018 in a farm in his home town, Abor-Ani Village in Awgbu, Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State, reports Nkiruka Egodi Okeke.

It was gathered that Late Nwaocha, who had been missing since 17th October, 2018, was with his wife, Mrs. Esther, at the farm when he was abducted. The wife who was not seen by the abductors at the time they took her husband, said there were five of them and that they had guns.

Fides gathered that the abduction of the man was a result of a land dispute between Abor-Ani in Awgbu, and Aronato in Ndikelionwu, both in Orumba North LGA.

While recounting her ordeal to Fides, the wife of the deceased, Mrs. Esther Nwaocha, said they had gone to the farm to make their harvest, but while they were at it, five able bodied young men suddenly came out from the bush and attacked them.

She said she managed to stay alive because she was not near her husband at the time but had seen what happened from a distance.

According to her, she watched helplessly as the young men beat up her husband before abducting him.

Fides gathered on 24th October 2018, at the maternal home of Mrs Nwaocha, the former President General of Awgbu Community, Chief Patrick Ezeanaka, had called the monarch of Ndikelionwu when the news of the abduction of Nwaocha and a 14 year old first broke.

He said that he immediately called the President General of Ndikelionwu Community to see if the abducted man could be released but got no answer to his calls, even as he claimed that at a point, the Ndikelionwu monarch stopped picking his calls.

Chief Ezeanaka said that after the abduction of Gilbert, the community had reported the case to Awgbu Police Station. He also added that they also reported to the police when they found the body of the deceased.

He said that the fourteen year old boy was later found at the police Station, alleging that it was part of the plan by Ndikelionwu Community to deny the kidnap.

Speaking to Fides, the Igwe of Awgbu Community, H.R.H. Mike C. Okechukwu, said that they had searched for the abducted man in all the police stations in Anambra State to no avail.

Igwe Okechukwu, who was visibly angry and bitter, explained that they had lost yams, cassava, potatoes and other farm produce worth millions of Naira because of the land dispute. The Igwe disclosed that Aronta Village in Ndikelionwu Community had encroached into their land, a situation, he said, that had given rise to the dispute.

He said that all efforts to put a halt to the crisis and restore peace between the two communities had proved futile.

The Igwe who sued for peace between two communities, said he had been trying his best to wedge the angry youths of Awgbu from retaliating, and hoped that the Police would bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion.

One of the villagers, Mr. Felix Abili, described the deceased as a peaceful and loving man who during his life time served God with all diligence and sincerity of heart.

The deceased Nwoacha is survived by his wife, Mrs. Esther, and Master Chisom, his only Only son.

When Fides got through to the monarch of Ndikelionwu, Igwe Chukwuemeka Ike, for his reaction, he said he was not disposed to talk where he was, even as he said that all manner of things were being said on the issue. He suggested a meeting with Fides in his palace at a later date.

For his part, the Police Public Relations Officer, Anambra State Police Command, SP Haruna Mohammed, when contacted, denied knowledge of the death of the man, as well as the disputed land.

He advised the aggrieved community to report the matter to the police for investigation.



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