A former president of the Nigerian Senate, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, has been accused of destroying a commercial farmland at Amagu, Ishiagu in Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Nigeria.
The land is said to belong to one Mr. Moses Orji whose lawyer, Barr. Ogbonna Paul Arochukwu, claimed in a press statement forwarded to newsmen that between January 21 and 24, “a bulldozer working at behest of Mr. Chinedu Makwe and Mr. Livinus Uka (both of whom claim to represent Chief Anyim Pius Anyim and the Amagu Development Union in Ishiagu, Ivo Local Government Area, Ebonyi State)” forcefully entered into the farm and destroyed farm houses, palm trees, crops including yams and cassava, as well as farm lands.
He accused Chief Anyim of earlier dropping the hint of his intention to hijack Orji’s farmland at a meeting held by Amagu Development Union on 31st December 2019 when, according to him, Anyim announced a plan to turn the location into a modern residential city.
“In order to make way for the proposed city, the Amagu Development Union and its Land committee Members who are apparently taking directives from Chief Anyim, got a bulldozer to destroy Mr Moses Orji’s farm. Lands close to Mr Moses Orji’s farm were also destroyed”, Arochukwu said in the statement.
He also accused the police of handling the matter with kid-glove.
“Given the behavior of the Police, we strongly believe that the Police is protecting persons who are destroying Mr. Moses Orji’s farm. At this time, the Divisional Police Post at Ishiagu, Ivo LGA, headed by Mr. Nwornu Daniel C. (DPO) has refused to arrest the persons destroying Sir Moses Orji’s farm on the grounds that the Police does not interfere in land matters. We however believe that what is taking place is a malicious criminal damage to property which is an offence under Nigerian criminal laws.” The statement read.
Telephone calls made to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ivo Divisional Police Post, Mr. Nwornu Daniel, between 12:23 and 12:24pm on Saturday yielded no information as the communication network from his end seemed very bad, while calls to the DCO rang out.
Determined to get the police’s side of the story, this reporter put a call through to the control room of the police post.
Inspector Bassey Samuel, who picked the call confirmed the matter and informed that the case was being handled by the DPO.
He also informed that the DPO had advised the victim’s lawyer, Barr. Arochukwu to approach the court for an injunction.
When contacted on phone, Chairman of Amagu Land Committee, Mr. Chinedu Nicolas Makwe, said the matter was already before the court in Ebonyi, so he would not comment further as, according to him, doing so would be prejudicial.
He, however, informed that parties to the dispute are billed to appear before the court on Tuesday 28 January.
The 76-year old victim, Mr. Moses Orji, who spoke in an emotion laden voice told newsmen that all he labored for over the years had been put to ruins.
“My son, the destruction is beyond imagination. My yam and cassava plantations got totally destroyed with the soil upturned and tubers of yam and cassava mangled by the bulldozer. Everything I had on the farmland, including palm trees, houses and other cash crops got completely destroyed”, he sobbed.
Efforts to reach the former Senate President, Chief Anyim, for comment proved abortive as calls to his mobile line went unanswered.