By Edeh Nwigwe
The Chief Security Officer (CSO), Ezza Umuhuali in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Mr. Ifeanyi Orugbala was on Saturday 24th August 2019, was caught with alleged stolen television set belonging to Mr. Chizurum Njoku, at Onunwankwo and other items in the area.
Briefing the reporter at Onunwankwo, the Acting vigilante Chieftain in the area, Mr. Jude Nwamkpu said that his men acting on a tip-off arrested Mr. Ifeanyi in connection with the missing brand new TV.
He said that when Mr. Orugbala was arrested, he denied having any knowledge of the said item, but after subjecting him to intensive interrogation, he confessed to having committed the atrocity and led the vigilante to where he hid the TV and other stolen items at an abandoned piggery farm. The vigilantes went with him to collect the items.
Mr. Orugbala was also said to have confessed to having hands in so many petty thefts and pilfering in the area, such as stealing and killing of dogs as he was popular in selling dog meat in the area.
He was said to have further confessed to have stolen chickens brought from Enugu state for Mrs. Nwenu when she went looking for a broom to sweep her stand.
The acting vigilante boss also x-rayed the alleged atrocities of Mr. Orugbala since 2018 till date, before he was appointed the CSO of the area to include: stealing a bag of water yam and a bag of fio-fio at Nwankwo Market on 27th June 2018 and he was caught red-handed by one Agbazuagbazu.
He went with his gang to beat up the reporter, a case which was reported to the councilor of the community.
On the 7th of November 2018, he allegedly stole and killed a dog belonging to elder Michael Nome; and when the owner traced it to his shop, only the skull was in his show-case.
On 2nd of November 2018, he allegedly burgled the hotel of Mrs. Ugegbe in Nwankwo Market and allegedly removed the fried/dried pieces of meat worth N16,500 with show-case and as security chieftain, reported that he saw 19 dogs devouring the said meat but could not account for the show-case till date.
On the 6th January 2019, Mr. Ifeanyi Orugbala was said to have stolen a pressing machine belonging to Mr. Emeka Nweze, a vulcanizer at Onunwankwo, Mr. Nweze, however, traced it to his house and recovered it without any reaction from him.
And one Mr. Nicholas Nwafor had severally reported that Mr. Orugbala had cleared his goats/shade and many more.
Mr. Jude Nwamkpu assured that he would at any time bring up the records of many hidden hoodlums in the area, both those within the area and those on the run, adding that they will sanitize the community of hoodlums to enable the citizenry sleep with their two eyes closed.
He appealed for their quick inauguration by the police to enhance their optimal service to the area but appealed their members should be allowed to select their leaders based on their good etiquette, trustworthiness, diligence and proven integrity.
The youths in the area were particularly happy over the development as the CSO has been intimidating innocent people in the area, in the name of security to scare people away and carry out his nefarious activities.
They gave an instance of where accused had scared away his men and worked alone as CSO and at times would arrest a suspect, collect money from such person and set him free.
They also noted with dismay that as a Chief Security Officer, he sells Indian hemp and he was very popular in Onunwankwo area for his dealings in hard drugs, but he never succumbed to arrest despite several warnings by the Development Union and the stake-holders authorities in the area against such illicit drugs.
In his reaction, the chairman of the Ezza Umuhuali Development Union caretaker committee, Hon. Godwin Nwanga who condemned the act said that Mr. Ifeanyi Orugbala has betrayed the trust and confidence bestowed in him by the councilor and the people of Umuhuali community.
Hon. Godwin Nwanga appealed to the stakeholders to urgently arrange and select credible persons for the position of vigilante work to avoid the reoccurrence of the bad etiquette of Mr. Ifeanyi, adding that he has disappointed the people of Umuhuali and also lost his dignity, integrity, prestige, and respect as a son of the area and security chieftain in the area.
The acting vigilante chieftain, Mr. Jude Nwamkpu asked the citizenry of the area to go about their lawful businesses as the security outfit has spread its dragnet to ensure that the community and environs are free of hoodlums, adding that there is adequate security of life and property in the area.
The accused, he said, would be handed over to the Ezillo Police Division after necessary findings with the exhibits recovered for possible arraignment in the court of law.
Reacting to the allegation leveled against him, the security chief, now a suspect, Mr. Orugbala claimed that he had never indulged in such activity, apart from the present one.
On why he brought out the stolen items from his hide-out, Mr. Orugbala (Ofora) said that it was the act of the devil and pleaded never to indulge in such an unethical behavior again, stating that he used to be a trustworthy security agent in the area.
He also accepted that they underwent several testing processes before it was proved that he was behind the stealing of the TV set.
He further pleaded for forgiveness saying that he has betrayed the trust bestowed on him by the people
It would be recalled, according to the leadership of Ezza Umuhuali that arrangements were ongoing to recruit and inaugurate a virile vigilante in the area by the DPO Ishielu Division.
They also remarked that the stakeholders of the town had met on several occasions with the councilor of the community, Hon. Nnaemeka Otubo, on the above issue and possibly, confirm the worthy one for onwards procession and inauguration as a vigilante.
The new acting vigilante men would be commended for their vigilance, diligence and their security consciousness which has brought about the arrest of so many hoodlums in the area and on different incidents across the community.
It was also noticed that some of the remaining suspects have fled the town.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ifeanyi Orugbala has been kept under close surveillance to avoid any further interaction with his gang or to flee, pending the completion of their investigation before handing him over to the police for further actions.
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