“Nobody detained me; tell Abia people and indeed the world so. The fact is that two of my subjects: my President-General and my Youth Leader were detained over the alleged killing of cows belonging to Fulani Herdsmen in my community and I went and bailed them.
“How can they detain me over the crisis involving Herdsmen? Nobody detained me. In fact, the police even told me to tell the whole world that I wasn’t detained by them so that a mob action would not be visited on them”.
These are the words of HRM Eze John Akaniro, the former Chairman, Abia State Council Traditional Rulers and traditional ruler of Umuobasiukwu, Ozuitem who was allegedly detained by the police in Umuahia over crisis in Ozuitem in Bende local government area of Abia State.
He told the Witness Magazine Thursday morning in a telephone interview that he is hale and hearty and enjoying with his family in his Palace at Umuobasiukwu Community, even as he paid special tribute to our Correspondent for his concern and investigative journalism and asked him to keep it up.
It was said that the Herdsmen had invaded some farms in Ogboko and other Ozuitem community with their cows and destroyed crops worth hundreds of millions of naira and when the villagers confronted them on why they herded their livestock to their farms, destroying all they had planted, they arrogantly dismissed it as, what they people perceived as, nonsense.
The police also denied detaining the royal father as this story and statement by the police read:
Police Didn’t Arrest Any Royal Father Over Killing Fulani Cows, Abia CP, Jenet Agbede
The Commissioner of Police, Abia State Command, CP Janet Agbede has dismissed the insinuations in some quarters that a first class traditional ruler in Abia State, HRM Eze John Onuoha Akaniro and other two other royal fathers was arrested and detained by the police in the state over an alleged killing of some cows belonging to Fulani Herdsmen by some unknown persons in Ogboko, Ozuitem in Bende local government area of Abia State.
Reports had it that Eze Akaniro, a former chairman of Abia State Council Traditional Rulers, was arrested with two other royal fathers and detained by the police in Umuahia on the orders from Abuja over the skirmishes in Ogboko, Ozuitem where some Fulani Herdsmen lost some cattle.
It said that the Fulani Herdsmen herded their cows to farm lands belonging to the villagers and destroyed crops that run into hundreds of millions of naira, adding that when the villagers asked them why, they pulled out AK 47 on them prompting the skirmishes.
The Commissioner of Police who spoke to our Correspondent in Umuahia through the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Geoffrey Ogbonna, a Superintendent of Police, said neither Eze Akaniro nor any royal father from the area was arrested let alone detained.
She described a publication to that effect as not only fallacious, but malicious, adding that it is aimed at discrediting the State Police Command and divert attention from its efforts toward unraveling those behind the killing of Fulani herder’s 15 livestock on January 31, 2021at Ogboko Ozuitem in Bende LGA.
According her, the first class and revered traditional ruler under reference has expressed embarrassment and displeasure over the publication as well as series of phone calls he has received on this development.
CP Agbede therefore called on the public to disregard any publication to that effect, even as she tasked social media handlers as well as the print media “to always embrace investigative journalism to avoid spreading fake news”.
Contacted on telephone, Eze Akaniro said he was neither arrested nor detained by the police, adding however that some of his subjects invited by the police over the alleged killing of some livestock belonging to Fulani herder’s livestock were subsequently released.
A statement issued earlier by Police Command has also denied arresting or detaining any traditional ruler.
The excerpts…The attention of Abia State Police Command has been drawn to a publication trending on the Social Media that a First class traditional ruler from Bende Local Government Area of the State was arrested and detained by the Police in the State.
This publication is not only fallacious but malicious aimed at discrediting the State Police Command and divert attention in her efforts toward unraveling those behind the killing of Fulani herder’s 15 livestock on January 31st, 2021at Ogboko Ozuitem in Bende LGA.
The first class and revered traditional under reference has expressed embarrassment and displeasure over the publication as well as series of phone calls he has received on this development.
The Commissioner of Police Abia State Command, CP Janet E. Agbede therefore calls on the notary public to disregard the publication and enjoin social media handlers and the print media practitioners to always embrace investigative journalism to avoid spreading fake news.
In addition, the traditional ruler has disclosed that he was neither arrested nor detained by the Police rather he had some of his subjects invited by the Police over the killing of Fulani herder’s livestock and that they were subsequently released.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.