The arrest of the former Chief of Staff, Government House, Owerri, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu has generated a lot of reactions considering the circumstances surrounding the invasion and his subsequent abduction from church on Sunday, December 26, 2021.
Report has it that some masked men had stormed the St Peter’s Anglican Church, Eziama Obiare in Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo State during an outing church service held in honour of his late mother, Late Jemaimah Nwosu, where he was whisked away.
The masked men swooped on the church and shot sporadically in the church before one of them approached and hit him at the back to follow them.
It has been observed that there was no warrant of arrest nor was there any verbally expressed reasons why he was been arrested. He was bundled into a van headed to Enugu and subsequently flown to Abuja in a waiting private jet in Enugu on the same day.
Earlier report on the blogosphere has it that the former gubernatorial candidate of Action Alliance (AA) was kidnapped by unknown gunmen but Uche Nwosu in an interview after his release, accused the security agents attached to Imo State Government House to have plotted and executed what has described as a “Sacrilege in the House of God”.
The Imo State government through the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon. Declan Emelumba, denied masterminding the arrest of Uche Nwosu.
In a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Michael Abattam, however, confirmed that Uche Nwosu was not kidnapped but rather arrested by the Imo State Police Command.
Regrettably, the police spokesman did not disclose why Uche Nwosu was arrested to warrant such a desecration of the sanctity of the House of God and up till this moment, nothing has been heard to that regard.
The question is if the masked men who arrested Uche Nwosu during a church service were officers of the Nigeria Police as revealed by the PPRO, who then ordered his arrest and for what reason? Who hired the waiting private jet that ferried him to Abuja from Enugu? And what was the motive behind his arrest?
Meanwhile, a cross-section of the people condemned Nwosu’s arrest by the Imo State Police Command.
In an interview with Niger Delta Connect, the Chairman Board of Directors of Orlu Gong/Orlu Peoples Assembly, Chief Fidel Anujuo, said that the attack on a House of God is sacrilegious.
He described the action as a poor public relations for the police and Imo State government.
“It has now become a public relation disaster not only for Nigeria Police but also for the Imo government and its governor who remained mute when it ought to have condemned not only the desecration of the holy place but the infringement of Uche Nwosu’s right.
In his verified Facebook page, Former Aviation Minister, Osita Chidoka described the action of the police as clearly unacceptable and a desecration of the sanctity of the House of God.
He urged the church not to gloss over the development, pointing out that even the Nazis as bad as they were respected the church during the Second World War.
“So the police entered a church and arrested Uche Nwosu? They desecrated the church to make arrest.
“This is unacceptable and the church and all well-meaning Nigerians should not take it lying down. Even the Nazis respected the church during the Second World War.
“Nigerian Police just fell to a new low under a clueless national leadership”, he said.
In a statement issued by the Archbishop of the Owerri Province, David Onuoha, the Church Of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, said, “It was a black Sunday”.
Onuoha said the officiating priest had barely concluded the celebration and administration of the Holy Eucharist, ready for the end of year thanksgiving, when armed police invaded the church.
He said what happened was unprecedented in the more than 160 year’s history of the church in Imo State.
“We are gravely worried and disturbed that worshippers were greatly frightened, worried, confused and completely disorganized by the presence of heavily armed security operatives in the church service thereby disrupting the worship of God’s people.
“That the police jumped inside the church in a gestapo style when the service was in full session is reprehensible, primitive, and highly condemnable”, he said.
The archbishop warned that the police action could worsen the security challenges in the state.
“The Church will in the next few days engage the Nigerian Police in a dialogue to truly understand the reasons behind this dastardly act and how to avoid a repeat occurrence.
“While this process is on, we urge all Christians to continue in prayers for God’s mercy on all of us and peace in our land”, he added.