AMCON officials invade all-girls school in Enugu, detain 344 students, staff

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Assets Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON has arrested at least 344 female students and workers of Providence High School, Independence Layout, Enugu State.

Eyewitnesses said personnel of AMCON in a bid to take possession of the school, barred students and staff from exiting the school gate.

The school reportedly used as collateral to collect a loan.

Nick Omeye who led the AMCON team, including over 40 police officers stormed the all-girls school around 1:40 pm and returned later around 5.30 pm, sealing up the school gates with students and staff inside.

The school is owned by Ferdinand Anaghara who reportedly donated the property to the proprietor of the school under a special arrangement.

It was gathered that he had an unsettled business with a bank before his death, Vanguard reports.

However, the school proprietor, Mrs Elizabeth Onwuagha, denied knowledge of any pending loan case between the late Anaghara and AMCON or any bank.

She said she acquired the property in 1997, with just two uncompleted buildings within.

According to her, it was in 2016, nine years after Chief Anaghara’s death and 20 years after she had acquired the contentious property, that “AMCON showed up with some persons on the grounds that they wanted to execute an interlocutory court order empowering it to take possession of our school facilities”.

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“The original owner gave us this facility as a favour. He gave me all the photocopy documents of the property and said he would give us original documents at a later date.

“As at that time, there were two uncompleted buildings and he donated it to us on the condition that we would complete them and use the place specifically for education. Since we took over this place, we have constructed four more buildings and expanded this place which was bushy when we came in.

“When we went for the original documents, he (Chief Anaghara) told me that he would give it to me upon his return from a medical trip abroad. That was in 2007. But unfortunately, he never returned alive.

“We never heard from him or anybody that he owed any bank until 2016, 19 years after he had given us the property and nine years after his death when AMCON came.

“They told us that they would not seal the premises because it is a school but that we should find money and clear Ferdinand’s debts.

“I told them that I do not have money and that the school had no money; that schools are social services.

“We later wrote a letter to AMCON stating our side of the issue; the letter was submitted on August 1, 2016, but they never replied to us till today. All of a sudden, AMCON invaded the school with heavily armed policemen when the students were still in class and ordered everyone to vacate; that they had come to take possession of the property”.

Mrs Onwuagha alleged that the policemen manhandled one of her male staff members for asking why they were invading the school with guns and expressed fear over the safety and security of her over 344 female students who were said to be taking their internal examination.

“My greatest fear is the safety of my students who are currently traumatised. Many of them have never seen a gun, and now you have over 40 heavily armed security men storming these premises as if they wanted to repeat what happened (kidnapping of over 300 schoolboys) in Katsina State recently”