Igwe Herbert Ukuta

Enugu Traditional Ruler Arraigned for Alleged Murder Over Refund Dispute

The Igga Kingdom traditional ruler, Igwe Herbert Ukuta, has been brought before Court 1 of the Enugu North Magisterial Division by the Enugu State Police Command on charges of killing four individuals, including two officers, in his area.

He, along with other suspects, has been imprisoned following the arraignment. Allegedly, the police at the State Criminal Investigation Department demanded a sum of N1.5 million from Ukuta’s family for his release. Charges of terrorism and land-grabbing have been pressed against him and his associates.

The Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, has questioned the Enugu State Police Commissioner, Kanayo Uzuegbu, regarding the prolonged and unlawful detention of the traditional leader without a trial. Ukuta was summoned to the police headquarters on May 4, 2024, concerning a clash between officers suspected of unlawful activities, land encroachers, and armed individuals. In retaliation, the police and Nigerian Army reportedly set fire to 23 homes, destroyed over 30 motorcycles and about 15 vehicles, and allegedly engaged in looting property valued at millions of naira.

Currently facing trial for murder in Court 1 of the Enugu North Magisterial District, the traditional ruler could be remanded in prison until the case documents are referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for guidance.

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