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Former deputy governor of Abia state, Chief Acho Nwakanma nearly got shot by an Army Captain last week as he visited the military unit stationed at his Ohanze Isiahia community.

Nwakanma who is a governorship aspirant on the platform of the PDP was said to have visited the Army Unit to effect the release of his driver who was arrested by the head of the unit, Captain Isima Nkanang.

The Army Captain was said to have been annoyed at the ex deputy governor's effrontery to visit his base to plead for the release of his driver whom eyewitnesses hint, was arrested for no just cause.

According to a trader at the Afodimkpa junction which leads to the Nwakanma's residence and the military unit, Nkanang just ordered the driver to stop without cause and took him to the Army base where he was mercilessly beaten. When the former deputy governor was informed, he chose to visit the place to find out why his driver was arrested, but the Captain threatened to shoot him if he dares cross the entrance gate of the Unit. A bemused Nwakanma was said to have returned to his house where residents trooped in to inform him of Nkanang's excesses.

'He does not come out daily, he may be indoors for two weeks or more but whenever he is sighted, you will hear shouts of 'Pharoah', Pharoah' at the Afodimkpa junction and Okada riders will take to their heels while traders would pack their bags because he is certain to punish somebody.

At one time, the Army captain was alleged to have ordered shop owners and Okada riders in the area to close by 5pm daily as any defaulter risks detention at the military base. The 'curfew' was said to have operated for sometime in the community until he lifted it. Again, he is also alleged to have recently barred people from using the road which passes through the base to neighbouring communities. Defaulters have had bitter stories to tell as they are made to work for hours by cutting grasses and weeds at the military base.

In a related development, residents of Ohanze Isiahia Autonomous Community in Obingwa local council of Abia state have sent a save our soul message over the activities of the head of the Army Unit stationed in the area.

In a statement signed by some concerned residents of the community, Elder Matthew Osondu, Mrs Rhoda Agwamba, among others, they alleged that the head of the Army Unit in the community, Captain Isima Nkanang has become a terror to lives and property of the people he is meant to protect.

'We are calling on Gov. Theodore Orji and his commanding officers to call the Captain to order. He has constituted himself a terror to the residents of the community. We now live in fear because nobody is free from his torture and intimidation whether you are innocent or not. His Unit has been converted to a torture chamber for people in the community and environs. We praise him for keeping criminals in check since he was posted to the area, but we want him to go about his duties the normal. He should refrain from punishing people without cause,' they alleged.

The statement cited several alleged instances where the Captain has taken the law into his hands. On 'Thursday 20th June, Captain Nkanang deflated all the 18 tyres of a Mack truck whose driver just parked by the roadside to buy a bottle of water.  The truck has been for two weeks now as the owners vowed to make him replace the tyres. We have lost count of tricycles, buses or heavy duty trucks he has deflated their tyres. He has been in the habit of arresting members of the community without reason and detaining them.'

A commercial bus driver who plies the Aba —Ikot Ekpene highway say they now live in fear of him as he offloads buses at will and order people to cut grass or roll on muddy water. 'No driver approaches the Army checkpoint at Afodimkpa junction without having his heart in his hand and praying to God that he or she does fall into the hands of Capt Nkanang. You don't need to commit any offence; he may just look at you and order you to come down from the vehicle. He has kept peace in the area but should respect human rights. '

Attempts to get the reaction of the Commanding Officer of the 245 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Lt. Col. Tonye Minimah, proved abortive as his line could not be reached as at the time of going to press, but a soldier at the Ohanze military unit who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the development