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Anambra: Woman loses pregnancy in police custody

By Cajetan Mmuta, Awka

A pregnant woman, Mrs Mmesoma Odili, is currently in trauma and psychologically devastated over the loss of her three months pregnancy during eight days of detention at the Zone 13 Police headquarters, Ukpo, Anambra State.

The woman who hails from Umuosiegbo village in Umunya town in Oyi local government area of the State was arrested by the police when they could not lay hands on her husband over a land dispute in the area.

Mr. Jude Ikeanyionwu, an indigene of the community said the dispute has torn the area apart.

He called on the state governor, Professor Charles Soludo and other stakeholders to intervene in the situation before it leads to the loss of more lives.

Ikeanyionwu told newsmen that “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.”

He explained that “When the men of Zone 13 Police command 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.”

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“For eight days she was in detention and it was during this period that she had a miscarriage and lost her three-month 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 with 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.”

Also, the youth leader of Umunya, Chief Chinedu Onyemaechi, pointed out 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 said, “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”.

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