The people of Ovumnte Community in Ishiagu within Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State have become aware of the attempted kidnap of Mr. Friday Ovia, a member of the community.
Around the 8:30 am on the morning of Sunday, 27th September 2020, Mr. Friday Ovia was severely assaulted by six men who attempted to kidnap and whisk him away in an ash-colored Toyota Camry car.
The assault took place at Amata, Ishiagu, in Ivo Local Government Area. Mr. Friday Ovia’s account which was confirmed by eye witness reports discloses that he was trailed by three men on a Qulink motorcycle who accosted and assaulted him while the ash-colored Toyota Camry car approached and three more men who were armed with guns joined in the assault. They attempted to force Mr. Friday Ovia into the ash-colored Toyota Camry car after inflicting grave wounds on parts of his body. Eyewitnesses including villagers and bike men who observed the incident shouted for help which apparently made the kidnappers flee.
Mr. Friday Ovia has reported the incident to the Divisional Police Command in Ivo LGA and is currently receiving medical attention on the injuries inflicted on him.
Mr. Friday Ovia is one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by members of the Ovumnte community at the Ebonyi State High Court (Suit No: HSK/6/2020) against Chief Pius Anyim and Mr. Chindeu Nicholas Makwe (a Pharmacist and Director with the National Health Insurance Scheme) for acts of land grabbing and malicious destruction of properties in Ovumnte land.
The Ovumnte community has earlier petitioned the Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police over the said acts of land grabbing.
Mr. Friday Ovia is also one of the witnesses that saw Mr. Chindeu Nicholas Makwe, (a Pharmacist and Director with the National Health Insurance Scheme) physically assault Mrs. Orji on the 12th June 2020 at her husband’s farm in Ovumnte, Ishiagu. Following Mr. Friday Ovia’s testimony of the assault incident before the police, he has been receiving several threats to recant his testimony. On the morning of 16 June 2020, Mr. Friday Ovia was arrested by the DPO of the Ivo Divisional Police Command on a trumped-up charge after a black nylon bag was placed in front his house. He was later transferred by the DPO to the detention cells of the anti-robbery unit and later the anti-kidnapping unit of the Ebonyi State Police command at Abakaliki. He later regained his freedom after spending several days in detention.
The people of Ovumnte community remain law-abiding citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and urgently call on the Inspector General of Police to protect their lives and properties and timely investigate the attempted kidnap of Mr. Friday Ovia with a view to bringing the persons responsible to justice.
Ogbonna Paul Arochukwu, Esq.
Attorney to Members of the Ovumnte Community.