Magnus Eze, Enugu
An erstwhile task force member in Amechi Awkunanaw community in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State, Chidiebere Nnamani, cheated death recently when he survived an attack by hoodlums allegedly acting on orders of some leaders of the community.
He was allegedly attacked with weapons and sustained serious machete cuts, including injuries on the neck and head, on April 6, 2020, at No. 4, Umuaniachi Street, off Meniru Street, Awkunanaw, Enugu.
According to him, an acquintance invited him to a particular property under renovation where some persons claiming to be agents of the community wanted to extort money from the property owner, Doris Owoh, a legal practitioner, in the name of development levy.
He alleged that he had barely arrived the place and was being briefed by Owoh and Prof. Ngozi Nnamani, when some youths, led by Amechi Nkwuo, emerged and descended on him. He added that Nkwuo informed him that they were working on the instructions of the traditional ruler, Igwe Anthony Okorie, and president-general of Amechi Development Union (ADU), John Egbo. He was still writhing in pains when Daily Sun visited him at a private hospital in Enugu, last Wednesday.
Nnamani, who hails from the Umu-Eneta Family, claimed that he has been a pain in the neck of Igwe Okorie, Egbo, Ikechukwu Edeh, Amechi Nkwuo and some others, who had vowed to see him dead.
Their insistence in doing away with him, according to him, was to cover up their tracks as it concerns the financial embezzlement of proceeds from the sale of community land in Enugu.
The former task force chairman for the collection of development levy for the community said he had detailed facts and information on several deals perpetrated by his traducers.
Daily Sun gathered that the issue might be beyond collection of development levy, as Nnamani also accused the current leadership of the ADU of lacking the legitimacy to preside over the affairs of the community because their tenure had expired on December 29, 2019.
Nnamani said: “Igwe Anthony Okorie, Mr. John Egbo and their cohorts mischievously refused to conduct election that will bring in new executives of ADU, thereby violating the provisions of our constitution. Instead, they continue to use the revenue drive (Ogbonecheagu) committee constituted by the expired executives that ordinarily ended on December 29, 2019.
“Egbo, despite the fact that his tenure has ended, deliberately refused to step down and said that nobody can stop him from exercising the functions of the town union president, which, apart from being unconstitutional, is an affront to the people of Amechi Awkunanaw.
“This development, coupled with the mismanagement and embezzlement of community fund, led to a petition to the EFCC, dated 13th February, 2020, through my lawyer. The petition is already being investigated.”
But the allegations were debunked by Egbo when our correspondent confronted him with them last week.
Egbo described Nnamani as a “notorious tout” and impostor who used his position as a one-time chairman of the task force to defraud unsuspecting people of their hard-earned money in the name of collecting development levy for the community.
The former Enugu State Commissioner for Environment also accused Nnamani of having fraudulently sold over 40 plots of community land to people, disclosing that some of them were already recovered for the community.
Also, the Amechi Awkunanaw Youth Congress (AAYC) made similar allegations in a petition by their lawyer, Emeka Aneke, to the Commissioner of Police, Enugu State Ccommand.
According to their petition, dated April 7, 2020, and acknowledged by the police boss on April 8, 2020, it was rather Nnamani and his group that attacked members of the task force on development levy collection that rushed to a building site where they had earlier served demand notice, when alerted that some people wanted to obtain money from a developer on behalf of the community.
They alleged that Nnamani and his gang had assaulted a respected member of the community, Sunday Nnamani, who condemned their extortionist tendencies; adding that they also hit chairman of the task force, Nkwuo, with the butt a pump-action rifle while he tried to rescue the latter.
“He has in the past, in 2015, while working as a member of the task force, fraudulently sold about 47 plots of land without being authorised by the community or the executives, in addition to pocketing community levies that should have been directed to the community accounts. This caused him a suspension from all activities of Amechi Community and Youth Congress till further notice.
“Ever since then, the suspect has become a law unto himself; and has been used by enemies of the community to perpetuate criminal acts against the residents and developers in the community who have vowed to deal with him at the slightest opportunity.”