THERE was a national outcry, last week, after Anambra state billionaire, philantropist and CEO of Best Aluminum, Chief Pius Nweke was abducted and flown to Abuja by some policemen who alleged that he was in possession of a gun. Immediately the news of his abduction filtered in, there were frantic search and enquiries to unravel the identities of his abductors and their whereabouts. Both the youths and different groups in Anambra state and beyond embarked on serious search by combing all the nooks and crannies of the state including boundaries linking the state. It was also gathered that different town unions, the clergy, students, different religious organizations and even vigilante groups that had benefitted from Chief Nweke’s philantropic gestures joined in the search.
This incident happened at a time Chief Nweke’s community, Abba, alleged that he was being hounded over a land tussle between his community and a neighbouring community, Ukpo, the town of another billionaire, Chief Arthur Eze. People’s deep concern and sceptism was also premised on the fact that few days ago, the perimeter fence of Best Aluminum belonging to Chief Nweke and his brother, Godwin Nweke were destroyed by armed hoodlums allegedly hired by the chief from the neighborhood community. They came with three truck loads of policemen who gave them cover to destroy the properties on the grounds that they were implementing a non-existent court order.
However, few hours after the abduction of Chief Nweke popularly called Ikemba Njikoka, news came that he was actually arrested by operatives of Inspector General of Police, IGP’s, Special Tactical Squard, STS, Onitsha over allegations that he was in possession of an unlicensed gun and flown to Abuja. Anambra Police boss, John Abang who confirmed the arrest, stated that he was intercepted in a Lexus SUV with a covered plate number by policemen on routine patrol at Awada, Onitsha. He claimed they searched the car and the occupant and found a Barretta pistol with 10 rounds of ammunition in it and stated that the suspect was taken into custody and later flown to Force headquarters, Abuja.
Police sources hinted that Chief Nweke was taken to STS office in Onitsha where he explained that the pistol found with him was officially approved many years ago by the Presidency and IGP and insisted on verification and confirmation. Sources said that he was later flown to Abuja where he was interrogated for hours. He was later released unconditionally after his claims were verified and found to be true. When contacted, the bemused philantropist stated that he was simply being hounded over the protracted land tussle. “For everything under the sun, God has a reason for allowing it happen. My travail in the hands of the police was very unfortunate.
I want to thank the Archbishops, Bishops, Rev. Fathers, Pastors and other anointed men of God who kept touch with me and for their prayers for me while I was in detention. I am most grateful to my good and steadfast brothers and sisters from Abba community who has been my backbone. My gratitude also goes to the present and past Governors in Nigeria, Senators, members of House of Reps, Ministers and top politicians who showed solidarity with me through calls and visitations.
I also thank my friends in the police, both serving and retired, friends in the military who kept faith with me and stood by me during this period. To those I have injured, I ask for forgiveness, to those who must have wronged me in one way or the other, I have forgiven them”, he stated. Meanwhile, Abba community in Njikoka LGA, Anambra state has accused the police of unfair treatment judging from its role in the Ukpo – Abba land tussle. During a peaceful protest to the Anambra State House of Assembly, Awka, the indigenes alleged amongst others that the police is playing to the gallery as evidenced in the destruction of Best Aluminum property in the community.