The Imo State Police Headquaters Owerri, thursday saw protesters from the timber and wood dealers match through her walls blocking the access gate to the Command's headquarters protesting over what they termed intimidation, illegal arrest and detention of her Board of Trusttee (BOT) Chairman, Chief Tony Nwosu by the Police and demanded for his immediate release.
The aggrieved traders operating under the banner of Owerri Timber Traders Association stormed the police headquarters causing traffic gridlock in the city centre, condemned the arrest of her BOT Chairman and the constant threat to arrest more of her members over a matter that is still pending in court.
According to the Spokesperson of the traders and former Secretary-General of the Union, Mr Ifeanyi Onyekwe, trouble started in the Market when the former Union leader, Mr Godson Okorocha allegedly disposed off a parcel of land belonging to the Association and traders for N40 Million without recourse to the Union and efforts made to call him to account for same proved difficult making for a court action. Continuing, he said that while the matter is in court, the suspect went on to erecting structures in the contentious parcel of land which the members strongly resisted. The spokes person concluded that the resistance by the traders propelled the former market leader to employing Police harassment and warned the Police to stop such as it won't work.
Addressing the traders a representative of the Police in the rank of a Deputy Commissioner enjoined the protesters to remain peaceful as the Police would investigate the matter while promising to facilitate bail for the BOT Chairman. The State Police Public Relation Officer reacting to enquires made by the Press stated that the matter did not originate from the Command but from the National headquarters, and insisted that the Command is only performing her duty to enthroning peace and protection of lives and properties.
However, Mr Godson Okorocha has dismissed the claims of the traders as according to him, the Union had no such property or sold to anyone and called on the concerned to point at its location.