Human Interest

Land dispute: Woman loses pregnancy in police custody in Anambra


By Our Correspondent

A pregnant woman, Mrs. Mmesoma Odili, from Umuosiegbo village, Umunya in Oyi local government area of Anambra State, is in a devastating mood following the loss of her pregnancy during eight days of detention at the Zone 13 Police headquarters, Ukpo, Anambra State.

It was gathered that the police had to arrest Mmesoma when they could not lay hands on her wanted husband over land dispute in the area.

An indigene of the community, Mr. Jude Ikeanyionwu, who said the dispute has torn the area apart, called on the state governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo and other stakeholders in the state, to intervene in the worrisome situation before it leads to loss of more lives.

Ikeanyionwu said: “Mmesoma’s husband is a member of the community’s vigilante group and one of those opposed to the illegal attempt to sell our communal land by some of our elders.

“When the men of Zone 13 Police came to arrest those who do not want our land to be sold since we had shared it among the various families and they could not find Mmesoma’s husband, they carried his pregnant wife.

” For eight days she was in detention and it was during this period that she had miscarriage and lost her three months pregnancy. The police had to let her go when she was almost dying in detention.

“The situation in our kindred now is that those who want to sell our land by force have been harassing us with police from Abuja, such that all the men in the village no longer sleep in their houses for fear of arrest.

“We have no other land, which was why a decision was taken to share the large expanse to the various families, which has been done. It is, therefore, surprising that my uncle, who was chairman of the kindred, insisted on selling the land when we and our children have no other land to lay hands on.”

The youth leader of Umunya, Chief Chinedu Onyemaechi, recalled that the late traditional ruler of the town, Igwe Chris Onyekwuluje had directed those who collected N 2 million from some people as a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, to begin the process of purchase of the land, to return the money for peace to reign.

He added: “Immediately our traditional ruler died, they started again to sell the land and we objected and insisted that the money should be returned to the people.

” The next thing we saw was the invasion of our community by police and soldiers who have been arresting people indiscriminately.

“Our greatest surprise is that our elders who are supposed to be discouraging youths from sale of land, are the ones who are determined to sell. If they sell all our lands, where will our children live?

“Our forefathers left this land for us and we have shared it. Some of the people are already developing their plots and that is where they want us to vacate so that people who are not even from Umunya, would acquire them in the name of building estates”.

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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