August 21, 2012 by Emmanuel Obe, Awka
An Onitsha High Court presided over by Justice J. I. Nweze has ordered the police in Anambra State to release an Nkpor–based hotelier, Mr. Christopher Udoh, and reopen his three hotels sealed off after four kidnap suspects were arrested in one of them.
The interim order, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent on Monday, was issued after the counsel for Udoh, M. C. Ilondu, filed a motion on notice, praying the court to grant an interim order directing the police, their agents or privies to release the applicant currently being detained in their custody forthwith and re-open his hotels and re-open premises at Onitsha and Nkpor illegally sealed off by them, pending the determination of the motion.
Nweze fixed Friday, August 24 for hearing of a committal notice (Form 48) also filed by Udoh, against the six respondents, including the Inspector-General of Police, Commissioner of Police Anambra State, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. James Nwafor (O/C SARS Awkuzu), Mr. Kanayo Uzuegbu and Raphael Nnabuife.
The order to free the kidnap suspect came as two National Assembly members – Senator Chris Ngige and Mr. Charles Odedo – promised to intervene in the continued detention of Udoh, the proprietor of Arthur Garden Hotels, Nkpor by the state police command.
Addressing members of Nkpor community, under the aegis of Nkpor Village Chairmen’s Forum, who paid him a courtesy visit in his Alor home on Monday, to complain about the continued detention of the hotelier, Ngige said he would take up the matter with the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ballah Nassarawa, immediately.
Odedo, on his part, said he had just heard about the matter and promised to join hands with Ngige to examine the matter critically and find a lasting solution to it.
The spokesman of the Nkpor Village Chairmen’s Forum, Mr. Frank Molokwu, had told Ngige that although the people of Nkpor condemn acts of kidnapping, terrorism and blackmail, the police should be thorough and cautious in their duties, so as to avoid any attempt by any faction in the Nkpor crisis to rope in their perceived opponents in the internal crises in the kidnap saga.
“We want the police to be cautious of blackmailers and those ready to give wrong and false information in order to intimidate those they consider their opponents in Nkpor conflict in the course of the ongoing investigations,” Molokwu said.
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