The Police in Nsukka, Enugu State, yesterday arrested two masquerades in Ovoko community, Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area of Enugu State for robbing a trader along Nsukka-Obollo-Afor Road.
The two, it was gathered were among masquerades that have in the past few weeks continuously mounted road blocks in areas such as Eha-Alumona, Ovoko-Obollo-Afor, among several other public roads, and inflicted heavy wounds on motorists as well as dispossessed them of their valuables.
A Police officer in Nsukka, who pleaded anonymity, disclosed that the Police moved into action when the victim, Mr. Chinonso Ezewaji reported the matter at Nsukka Police Area command. He said that following the arrest of the two masquerades, others took to their heels.
“When the Police team reached Ovoko, along Nsukka–Obollor-Afor Road, where the masquerades were operating, two of the Policemen in the bus pretended as if they wanted to give the two masquerades money; but when they stretched their hands to collect it, that was how we hand-cuffed them and others ran away.
“Eight masquerades have been on that road since morning tormenting road users; the two of them we arrested have denied involvement in robbing the trader, but they have given the names of the culprits. When we searched one of the arrested masquerades, we saw Indian hemp in its pocket”.
When contacted, DSP Ebere Amarizu, Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer confirmed the incident, noting that the Police have commenced investigation into the matter.
Amarizu advised communities to regulate and monitor those who wear masquerades as some of them were hiding on it to harass, intimidate and rob innocent members of the public.
“Police is not against any culture but community leaders must know the character of people they allow to wear masquerades in the name of culture. A masquerade has no right to mount a road block on busy roads where motorists, motorcyclists and other road users ply on daily basis.
“The Police has commenced investigation and must get to the root of this matter as issue of masquerades disturbing people has become a recurring decimal”, he said.
Narrating his experience, the victim (Ezewaji), a trader, told newsmen that he was on his way from Nsukka to Obollo-Afor when the masquerades in Ovoko stopped him, gave him the beating of his life, after which “they searched me and collected N57, 000 from my pockets”.
Meanwhile, the two masquerades, who identified themselves as Kenchukwu Eze, a carpenter and Ejiofor Eze, brick-layer alleged that they were not part of the team that robbed the victim. They gave the name of the masquerade involved as Chima Mamah.
“We only collected N20, N100 and N500 from people; we didn’t participate in collecting the N57,000”, one of them claimed.
“However, kenechukwu Eze, while admitting that the Police recovered Indiam Hemp from him, said “If Police will release me, I will not wear masquerade or smoke Indian hemp again. It is the left-over of the one we smoked before coming out”, he said.

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