Enugu former Commissioner of Police Nwodibo Ekechukwu has insisted that he and his men did the best they could to counter the herdsmen that attacked and killed 49 people at Nimbo, Uzo Uwani LGA, Enugu, on April 25.
“There is no 100 per cent security of lives anywhere, but nobody jokes with human life. That the mischief makers succeeded in derogating (belittling) human life does not diminish the commitment of the police,” Ekechukwu told the panel of enquiry Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwayin set up to investigate the killing on Wednesday.
According to him, the Enugu command got some intel before the attack, and he did his best to deploy officers to various areas in the community. “But the suspect operated on the fringes,” he said.
And that was not the first time they would counter herdsmen’s attack in the area. “We arrested some herdsmen in the past. Charges were preferred against them but we ran into jurisdictional cobweb,” he told the panel.
“We are not laying claims to perfection, but there was no bias in the handling of the attack that led to the death of residents of the community.”
Even in the April attack, the CP said his findings revealed that the suspected herdsmen were truly armed with AK 47 rifles during the attack, but the attackers lacked the training to use such weapons.
Ugwanyi had made logistics available for both the police and the army based on the security information he got before the attack.
That the herdsmen still attacked worried the governor. To worsen it, Ekechukwu’s insistence that hoodlums—not herdsmen—unleashed the attacks provoked widespread suspicion the police colluded with the herdsmen.
Ekechukwu was redeployed to the Rivers command after the incident.