•Again, hoodlums demolish blind man’s house in Enugu over alleged land tussle


From Magnus Eze, Enugu


•Embattled visually impaired man


The intractable dispute over a piece of land where a house was erected for a visually impaired 67-year-old man, Anibeze Nnadi, from Awoke-Agana family in Uwani-Otobo, Umuezike Aku in Igbo-Etiti Local Government, Enugu State, has taken a new twist as hoodlums for the umpteenth time, demolished the embattled blind man’s new house.

The hoodlums were said to have arrived Nnadi’s house in their numbers at midnight when he was asleep. They shot sporadically in the air, attacked and brought him outside, before pulling down the structure.

In an emotion-soaked voice, Nnadi accused a son of the suspended traditional ruler of the community, of being responsible for the attack. Igwe Christopher Okwor, was in September, 2021, suspended by the Enugu State Government for allegedly demolishing a two-bedroom building belonging to Nnadi. The house was built for him by Ezemagu family.

Nnadi was emphatic that he had no issues with anybody including the suspended monarch: “I am not quarrelling with anybody but they frequently attack me.

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“I was in my house on Tuesday when I heard gun shots. Before I knew it, they started beating me, dragged me outside and demolished my house. This is the sixth time they are demolishing my house that good Samaritans built for me. The land they built this house on belongs to me.”

The visually impaired man alleged that he has been having severe waist pain since the incident. He, however, appealed to the state government to come to his rescue by building another house for him.

The eldest man in Ezemagu family, Chief Daniel Ezemagu, said the perpetrators of the callous act were emboldened because the blind man had nobody to speak for him: “We could not resist the attack because they came with guns and other weapons and were shooting everywhere. I want peace and I want state government to help us achieve peace by allowing truth to prevail.”

Ezemagu said the continued delay in releasing the report of the panel of enquiry on the matter by the state government, was contributing to the suffering of the victim and causing breakdown of law and order.

He described the demolition as painful, which now left Nnadi homeless: “I don’t know their interest in the matter. Government should help us to unravel those behind the demolition as we now live in fear.”

One of Okwor’s sons, Ugonna, said no member of his family had a hand in the blind man’s ordeal. He said all the allegations against his family were pure lies and a ploy to tarnish the image of the royal family: “There are several pending cases in court over the issue.

“They destroyed the building themselves and ran to the media to seek sympathy. They have seen that my father is about to be reinstated by the state government and came up with the demolition allegations.

“We agreed that everybody should build on their own land. That nobody should touch each other’s land but they continue building and demolishing and run to police to intimidate my younger brother. There is no blind man connection to the ownership of the land in suits in court.

“Nnadi had a house which they said was not habitable for him. Why can’t they build on the spot they demolished his old house? But they preferred going to the land that is in contention to build for him.”

For Nnamdi Ezemagu dragging him into the issue was a calculated attempt by Okwor to divert the attention of the public from the criminal activity of his brothers and gang.

He alleged that one Kenechukwu was arrested and he had reportedly confessed to the crime of demolishing Nnadi’s house in 2021.