Eagle-eyed security officers at the Imo State Customary Court of Appeal, Owerri, yesterday apprehended a man, who came into the premises to collect sand for suspected ritual purposes.
The man, who was still held at the security gate when Vanguard visited the scene at 3.30p.m, not only gave his name as Alphonsus Madu but claimed to be a Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP, serving in Akwa Ibom State Police Command.
“My name is Alphonsus Madu. I am a Deputy Superintendent of Police. I am the Ika Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in Akwa Ibom State Police Command,”Madu told Vanguard.
On why he came under the heavy rain to collect sand from the court premises, Madu confessed that he has a case pending in the court.
He said: “I have a land matter pending in the Customary Court of Appeal, Owerri. I have been fasting all day in respect of the matter. I came to pick some sand from the court premises in continuation of my fasting and prayer.”
Asked why he chose a non-working day to carry out his mission, he claimed that Sunday was the only opportunity he had to visit Owerri.
When reminded that the court was a hallowed establishment and this singular act was capable of terminating his service, Madu told Vanguard that he was very sorry.
He said: “I am not here for ritual purposes. I have no intention to go into any ritual. I only needed the sand for my personal prayers. I am afraid that this act may jeopardize my service.”
Contacted on his mobile line, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Katsina, said: “Even if the man is a serving police officer, he has no reason to be in the court premises on Sunday and under the heavy rain.”
Katsina said he would interview the man today to ascertain if truly he is a police officer and why he preferred visiting the court premises under the rain to collect sand.
“The man must be a funny human being. Does he not know the security situation in the country? I have ordered the DPO, New Owerri Division to bring him to my office for interview,” the CP said.
Efforts to reach the President, Customary Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Pius Ifeanyi Okpara, for his comments failed as he was said to be slightly indisposed to talk to anybody.