Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha and Obinna Odogwu, Awka
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Special Tactical Section (STS) Team yesterday arrested the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Best Aluminum Manufacturing Company, Onitsha, Chief Pius Nweke for alleged possession of fire arms.
This is coming at a time the Abba community, where Chief Nweke hails from, has alleged that he was abducted.
Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mr. John Abang, who confirmed the arrest, said he was arrested by the IGP team in Onitsha on stop and search around Awada, near Onitsha, where he was allegedly found with pistol in his car.
He said: “Today between late morning and afternoon, men of IGP-STS based in Onitsha while on routine patrol on stop and search around Awada general area stopped an on coming Lexus Jeep with covered number plate.
“So they conducted a search on the vehicle and the occupant and in the process found a berretta pistol in possession of one Pius Nweke who claims that he is from Anambra State.
“He has been taken into custody by the STS team for further investigation and necessary action. Definitely they will take him to Abuja because STS operating in Awka is just a section and their boss is in Abuja, so the man will be transferred to Abuja.”
Meanwhile Chief Nweke’s community, Abba, disagreed with the CP saying their son was abducted by the police.
In a statement yesterday, the President General of the Community, Engr B. C. Anaekwe, said the businessman was abducted on his way to his office by some people suspected to be policemen at about 12 noon.
According to him, Nweke was not only abducted but was handcuffed like a common criminal, while a gun was placed on his hand.
“As at the time of this release, the whereabouts of Chief Nweke is still unknown. It is recalled the Abba community has been in dispute over ownership of a large expanse of land commonly called “Agu-Abba” with her neighbouring Ukpo community for which the Nigerian police were enlisted against the Abba community.
“Since June, 2019 citizens of the Abba community have been subjected to police intimidation, harassment and victimisation with not less than 19 citizens of the Abba community charged to courts for offences ranging from obstruction to armed robbery. “At present, two out of the five persons arrested on 18th December, 2019 in the Magistrate’s Court, Umudioka are still in the facility of the Nigerian Correctional Service.
“The Abba community hereby places the world on notice that should anything happen to Chief Pius Nweke, the Nigerian police under IGP Mohammed Adamu is to be held responsible.
“The Nigerian police should not reduce itself to a private thug. President Mohammadu Buhari is called upon to save Abba community from the Nigerian police.” On the allegation that the businessman was abducted by the police, CP Abang said the man was arrested for being in possession of prohibited firearm.
“The police will not join issues with his community members. The beautiful thing is that he was arrested, not even in his residence, to say may be he is being witch-hunted but the officers were on routine patrol of stop and search.
“And they searched him like they normally searched every other person and a pistol was found on him. They should not drag the Nigerian Police Force into what doesn’t concern them.
“All he has to do is to explain to the police how he got the weapon and whether he was authorized to carry that kind of weapon. It is a prohibited firearm. The police are not involved in their community politics.”