There was panic in Mbodo community, Aluu town, under Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State on Friday as men of the Nigerian Army invaded the community and destroyed properties owned by the Amaewhule family.
A Major General, Johnson Iferi, allegedly led other officers to invade the family land in the community.
The reporters gathered that the current action of the soldiers, who were being instigated by Sam Nyegwa, Wenenda Nyegwa, Ory Martins Akinseloyin, Boeing Luxury Estates Limited and Timit Properties Limited was in violation of a court order.
The family in a petition to the Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Olonisakin, and Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, accused the soldiers of destroying properties worth over N500m and carting away caterpillars, tractors and other equipment for civil construction job.
The petition reads, “On the 22nd of October 2020, we brought the above complaint to the General Officer Commanding 6 Division, Chief of Army Staff and other high ranking military personnel. That on the 27th of October 2020, I was invited to adopt our petition, I adopted our petition before an officer in the General Officer Commanding Office, one Mr Romagius (07067219590) , after which he assured me that the military has no business with anything land and that he will call his men to order.
“That to our chagrin, one week later they called me that the General Officer Commanding has requested that I should come to prove our case with documents and prove ownership of our land. That I refused because my lawyer informed me that since the matter was before a court, it is only the business of court to discuss and determine land ownership and not the army and I decided to forward my lawyer’s phone number to contact them and he told them the same thing, I also left my court documents with them.
“That further to our chagrin, on the 13th and 14th of November 2020, the military invaded again saying that for my failure to bring our documents, that they will take over our land, and will deal mercilessly with us, this time they invaded my industry and destroyed properties worth over N500m carting away with caterpillars, tractors, equipment for civil construction job and dealt with my staff, beat them mercilessly and wounded some that are still in hospital till today. Attached herein is the picture of some of the wounded persons.
“That as we write now, they are still on the land laying siege, destroying and pulling down every property that we have suffered to build over the years just to take over our land. That when the police confronted the soldiers on ground, they said they were there at the instance of the G.O.C 6 Division and it is only him who can ask them to leave.
“That we have made effort to reach out to the General Officer Commanding 6 Division, the feelers from a hindsight is that the General Officer Commanding 6 Division is highly complacent and deeply compromised in this matter and these things cannot be happening without his watch and we have contacted the Military Police also headed by Colonel Sarki and he said that the G.O.C 6 Division said I must come to army barrack to defend and prove our ownership of the land before he will remove his men there.
“That I told them that it is not the army’s role to administer the ownership of land and I know that the intention is to kill me and take over our family property. The characters who have brought this Boeing Luxury Estate and others are people who have lost to my boundary neighbour from another community in court Mr. C. Eke, they have started again to disturb our peaceful possession. That we have not ceded any part of their land to a military man nor any military formation.
“That this act is a clear breach of order of court, a violation of civil rights and irresponsible engagements. That if this lawlessness is not checked and stopped immediately, it could lead to needless upheavals, civil/military crisis or even bloodshed. We humbly implore you to intervene swiftly, call them to order, remove and evacuate the army from our property and restore back our damaged properties.”