zono fewer than 11 houses, two filling stations, vehicles and other valuables were burnt on Sunday at Akaeze, in the Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, following the torture and death of a robbery suspect, Nnaogo Anyim.
Anyim was arrested by men of the Ebubeagu Security Network attached to the Ivo LGA and was allegedly tortured by the operatives.
He died in a hospital.
Angered by his death, some youths, women and men in the community went on the rampage on Sunday.
The protesters destroyed the property of some Ebubeagu operatives, including those of some prominent persons in the area.
gathered that among those who lost their property was the Chairman of the council, Chief Onyebuchi Ogbadu. His house and filling stations were reportedly burnt by the mob. Also, a court and a police post in the community were razed by the group.
Our correspondent learnt that four persons were killed during the violent protest.
The council boss, Ogbadu, said, “In the first place, my house and property were the fifth in the series of what they burnt yesterday (Sunday). They started with the house of the commander of Ebubeagu in the area; they went to the house of his deputy as well. They said they were burning the houses because of a person who died after he was arrested by Ebubeagu.
“The Commissioner of Police, as directed by the governor of the state, is already investigating. He has arrested the Ebubeagu leadership, four of them, and they are in detention. So, why then are they taking the law into their hands and burning people’s houses? Our finding is that they are drug peddlers that Ebubeagu chased away from Akaeze for the past two or three months because it was shown yesterday (Sunday) by the youth they gathered. You will find out that it was sponsored based on what happened between Ebubeagu and the armed robber.”
Ogbadu denied reports that he shot and killed two of the protesters.
On his part, the traditional ruler of Umuihe autonomous community, Umazi Ugbadu, condemned the incident, saying it was politically motivated.
In a telephone interview with our correspondent on Monday, the monarch said, “The boy in question was a thief. He used to steal people’s things. He used a machete to cut people the previous year.
“Then Ebubeagu went to carry him, and they said he pointed at one of them and said he was the next person to be killed. It was then that people said they started beating him, and used an axe to cut him. I am a traditional ruler and I have nothing in my cupboard. What you are going to hear from me is nothing but the truth. I must say that they beat him the way they were not supposed to. The worst is after everything, they went and put it on the Internet, and when it was posted on the net, some politicians rode on it and started this problem.
“The problem was caused by Ebubeagu, because if they did not post that thing on the Internet, the opposition political party would not have used the opportunity to cause this. I am seeing it as one of the mistakes they made, and they were supposed to take that boy to a police station.”