Drama in Benue, as complainant turns suspect

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Men from the Benue State Police Command have arrested and detained a lecturer of the Benue State University (BSU), Makurdi, Emmanuel Odiba, who had gone to their station to report that some persons destroyed the fence he was erecting around his plot of land in the North Bank area of the state capital.

Daily Independent gathered that the Policemen however turned round to arrest and detain him.

The detention of Odiba, it was further learnt, followed a report by Pastor of Foundation Faith Church, Makurdi, Robert Okai, that Odiba disrupted his church service.

But, the complainant turned accused, in a chat, told Daily Independent that he did not at any time disrupt the service. He rather alleged that the pastor and some of the community members connived and destroyed the fence he constructed.

The don explained that when he learnt that the beacons to his piece of land was removed he reported to the Ministry of Lands of Survey, which restored them.

Odiba noted that shortly after he commenced construction work on the project, he was told by the leader of the community, Zaki Jebu Shiga to pay N300,000 before he would be allowed to commence work on the project.

He observed that he declined to pay another “due” to the community for the same piece of land, since he had earlier paid the community about N140,000 through the District Head and the youths, among others, to enable him begin work.

Jebu, he said, threatened that construction work would not be allowed to commence on the site until he complied.

The threat was then backed with action, when on three different occasions they pulled down the fence of the university lecturer.

He recalled that reporting the incident to the police on two occasions, and no action was taken, only for the same Police to turn around and arrest him over allegations of disrupting a church service.

Odiba has since been granted bail by the police.

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Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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