Suspected drug merchants and dealers have launched attacks and injured members of a family in Bolorunduro in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State, over an alleged disappearance of Indian hemp they kept at the cocoa farm of the family.
The drug barons were alleged to have invaded the cocoa farm belonging to one Augustine Christopher in Bolorunduro where they reportedly apprehended one Isaac Akpan who was working on the farm with him.
Eyewitness account indicated that the suspected Indian hemp traders numbering about 40 invaded the farm on motorcycles with dangerous weapons, seized and took away Akpan, alleging him to have stolen their goods kept within the cocoa farm, threatening to kill him if he could not produce the bags of missing harvested hemp
It was gathered that Akpan’s sister, Mrs. Christopher Martina, who was going to the farm met the hoodlums with her brother forcefully sandwiched on a motorcycle with the hoodlums who threatened to kill him if he fail to produce the bags of missing hemp.
However, Martina and her father, Joseph Akpan, 72, traced the hoodlums to Ilu -Abo, where they met Akpan who had been tortured by the suspected Indian hemp merchants.
Narrating her ordeal. ” I went to the farm very late on the fateful day because I just had a miscarriage and was tired but decided to join my husband and brother at the farm because we had left the farm unattended to for some days because of my father in-law burial.
“I met these people, about 40 of them on 15 motorcycles, but when I saw my brother who had been beaten and injured, I had to turn back and I was told told he had been taken to Ilu Abo.
“I went there with our father, only to find my brother beaten, injured and immediately they saw us, they descended on us and beat my father to coma, demanding to know where the bags of Indian hemp were kept.
“My father fainted and as I tried to touch him, they matchetted me while some of them beat me with sticks and I also fainted because I lost a lot of blood.”
She explained that the hoodlums threatened to wipe out the whole family if they failed to produce the bags of the Indian hemp, saying no security operatives could arrest them.
She disclosed that the suspected Indian hemp merchants invited officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) “who advised them to hand us over to police”
She however said, her husband and the Akwa Ibom community in the area reported the case to the police who revived her and took her to the hospital for treatment while the hoodlums ran away.
While speaking on the attack, the husband of the victim, Augustine Christopher, 42, said he had to report the case at the Area Command in Oba Ile, because of the threat from the Indian hemp cartel to wipe out the family.
He said ” we are cocoa farmers and have nothing to do with Indian hemp. I am calling on the security agents to fish out these people, though two of them have been arrested but we still have many of them across the communities in Ogbese, Bolorunduro and other communities around here who have been a pain in the neck to ordinary farmers.
The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) who confirmed the development, said the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Gbenga Adeyanju, had ordered the transfer of the case to the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID)
The PPRO said some arrests had been made while investigation had begun into the matter with a pledge to bring the operators of the illicit drug business to book.