Leo Igwe ’s family attacked

a letter from Marc Blondel, President of the FNLP to Leo Igwe
Thursday 19 August 2010
popularity : 9%

Recall the facts :

An Attack on my Family by Leo Igwe

Around midnight of Wednesday August 4 2010,two gunmen invaded my family house in Mbaise in Imo state in Southern Nigeria . They shot twice in the air and my other fainted.Theylater descended on my aging father and started beating him. They blindfolded him with a piece of cloth and hit him several times with stones.

He later fainted and the hoodlums ransacked the whole house and made away with whatever they found valuable. My father bled from the right eye, nose and mouth. He had bruises on his head, hands, legs and chest. After the attack, some neighbors came and rushed him to a nearby hospital. From there, I moved him to an eye hospital in Lagos where the doctor confirmed that he had extensive injuries in the right eye and recommended that it be removed. Yesterday, August 11, 2010, he underwent a surgery and the right eye was removed. He is currently recuperating at the hospital. I called the police to inform them. And they said I should send a formal petition .

This attack is the latest in the vicious campaign of harassment and intimidation of me and my family members by state and non state actors for our efforts to bring to justice a 50 year old man, Edward Uwa who raped a 10 year old girl Daberechi, in my community. Since 2007, Edward and his associate, Ethelbert Ugwu have brought several police and court actions against me, my family members and our witnesses including Daberechi’s father. They have brought many fictitious allegations against us. In January, they brought police officers and soldiers and arrested me and my father for murder. In 2008 Ethelbert Ugwu brought some soldiers who who arrested brutalized and detained my two brother at a local police in Ahiazu.

Unfortunately, the authorities in Nigeria are not helping matters. They have refused taking appropriate actions against Edward and Ethelbert. The police and judicial systems are corrupt, inept and ineffective. Police officers are only interested in making money from petitions, not in fighting or preventing crimes. And the court system is slow and expensive. So in Nigeria police and court actions are used by criminally minded people to harass and intimidate others,and block access to justice particularly for the poor and less privileged.

The local police stations in Ahiazu and Umuahia have refused arraigning Edward and Ethelbert for misinforming the police. The police in Zone 9 have yet to publish the outcome of the investigation of the murder charge brought by Ethelbert Ugwu and Edward Uwa for which they arrested me in January. Right now the prosecution of Edward for indecent assault is stalled because the Assistant Inspector General of Police in Umuahia, Abubakar Ringim has refused releasing the case file to Imo state prosecutor despite several applications to that respect. The state prosecutor decided to take over the prosecution after Ethelbert Ugwu got a fraudulent fiat through a local lawyer to take over the case. The police prosecutor is no longer coming to the court and the local magistrate has threatened to strike out the case in October. Ethelbert and Edward have filed five civil suits against me, my family members and witnesses. In March, the court ruled against us in one of the suits brought by Edward for police harassment because the police did not appear in court. We are currently appealing the ruling. Since 2007 members of my family and other innocent people in my community have suffered and endured attacks, harassment and intimidation by Edward, Ethelbert and their police, soldiers and thugs.

And the state authorities have done little or nothing to address the situation.

Paris, August 20, 2010

Dear Leo Igwe,

The French National Federation of the Free Thought (la Libre Pensee) is ready to respond to your appeal for help in defense of you and your family.

We would like to particularly express our sympathy to your father who is reported to have been seriously wounded in the recent attack.

We are preparing to post an article on our websites (the Free Thought and the International Liaison Committee of Free Thinkers and Atheists) to launch a campaign in France and at an international level.

We propose to send a letter to the Nigerian Embassy in Paris urging Nigerian authorities to put an end to the continuing harassment of your family by Nigerian police forces and calling on them to investigate the case of the recent attack.

We need directions in our actions so as not to interfere or compromise the work of your lawyers in Nigeria.

Please send as much information as you can.

In solidarity

Marc Blondel
President de la Fédération Nationale de la Libre Pensée

Paris, ce 20 août 2010

Cher Leo Igwe,

La Fédération Nationale de la Libre Pensée est tout à fait prête à répondre à ton appel pour te défendre toi et ta famille.

Nous voudrions exprimer tout particulièrement notre sympathie à ton père dont nous appris qu’il avait été grièvement blessé lors du dernier incident.

Nous sommes en train de préparer la publication d’un article sur nos sites internet (celui de la Libre Pensée et celui du Comité International de Liaison des Athées et des Libres Penseurs) afin de lancer une campagne en France et au niveau international.

Nous proposons d’adresser une lettre à l’Ambassade du Nigeria à Paris pour exiger des pouvoirs publics nigérians qu’ils mettent un terme à la repression continue dont ta famille fait l’objet de la part de la police nigériane et leur demandant l’ouverture d’une enquête sur l’incident du 4 août.

Nous avons besoin d’e ton avis sur les actions que nous voulons entreprendre de façon à ne pas interférer ou compromettre l’action de tes avocats au Nigeria.

Nous te demandons de bien vouloir nous adresser toutes les informations possibles.


Marc Blondel
Président de la Fédération Nationale de la Libre Pensée