Residents of Ogbete-Mgboji Community in Eha-Amufu, Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State have accused the Divisional Police Officer of Ikem Police Station, one Nwachukwu, of making money from the corpses of people killed by Fulani herdsmen.
SaharaReporters had reported on Wednesday that the suspected Fulani herdsmen killed five people and sacked 14 farm settlements where over 3,000 residents where living.
Some community leaders, who spoke to SaharaReporters, claimed that the police and ther security agencies failed to respond to distress calls when the invading armed herdsmen attacked them, but only showed up after the attacks to collect the bodies of those killed.
They alleged that when the relations of the deceased wanted to bury the corpses, the DPO Nwachukwu insisted and forcefully carried the corpses to the mortuary, deposited them and started demanding money from the displaced residents.
They said that since January, more than 16 people had been killed by the Fulani militia with hundreds of houses and property destroyed, while no security personnel came to intervene.
One of the community leaders, Chief Odo Egah, who spoke with SaharaReporters, said the security agencies had all abandoned them.
He said, “The only thing the DPO did was to come and carry the corpses; even when the families of the corpse told him that they didn’t want to deposit the bodies in the mortuary; give us the corpses to bury; he refused and carried it to mortuary. On Tuesday when they were shooting, we called him that they had killed two people and, he told us that he would not come; that he was going to where somebody was kidnapped.
“He will always insist that unless the police commissioner authorises for anyone to be buried, he will not release the corpse. You don’t come to save life but when the person dies; even when the owners of the corpses are begging you to allow them to bury them, you will refuse and carry it go to mortuary.”
Explaining that the motivating drive of the DPO was to take corpses to deposit in the mortuary was for the deceased families to come and give him money, the source added, “He will go and deposit the corpse in the mortuary, people who are running for their life, who don’t have what to eat, they will be going to the mortuary to pay to collect deceased relations to bury. It is too bad.”
“Our biggest problem now is that the DPO in Ikem that doesn’t want to release the bodies of people killed to the community put their corpse in the mortuary and you are telling them to pay money before going to the morgue to collect and bury.”
Efforts to get the reaction of the Enugu State Police Command were unsuccessful as the spokesman, Daniel Ndukwe, could not be reached on telephone as of the time of reporting.