Leadership tussle: Police arrest traditional ruler, two others over crisis in Ebonyi community

Posted by News Express | 10 June 2020 | 1,074 times

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Ebonyi State Police Command, weekend arrested the traditional ruler (names withheld) of Amuzu Igbeagu Community of Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State over his alleged complicity in the attacks on the community by hired gunmen.

Also arrested is the husband of a Development Centre Coordinator in Ebonyi, Maurice Nkwudu and his ally Ogbonnaya Ukwa. Mr Amuzu’s wife, Roseline is the Coordinator of Igbeagu Development Centre in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

The State Police Spokesperson, Loveth Odah confirmed the arrest to newsmen in Abakaliki. “Yes they were arrested on Friday following the allegations by the community that they were behind the crisis in the area.

They were later released after interrogation because of the police IGP’s policy of not congesting the cell to avoid Covid-19 infection”, Mrs Odah said.

The Spokesman, however, noted that they were told to report back to the Police Headquarters in  Abakaliki with the Coordinator. “We are still investigating the matter.

The matter has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID)”.

Members of the community in their numbers staged a peaceful protest around Abakaliki on Saturday to protest the alleged attack and destruction of their houses and properties by unknown gunmen.

It had been reported how the community was attacked with houses and properties worth millions of naira destroyed by gunmen allegedlly working for Mr Nkwuda.

The villagers bearing placards with various inscriptions accused the duo of masterminding the attacks on them for their selfish reasons.


They marched through various streets in the capital city on their way to the Old Government House Abakaliki but were intercepted at Union Bank Junction by Policeman who ordered them to end the protest.

After discussions with the Police Officers, the villagers peacefully ended the protest at the location after briefing Journalists. One of the leaders of the protesters, Nwikwe Uchenna Prince narrated how the crisis started.

“We are here to tell our peace- loving governor that the husband of the Coordinator of our Development Centre, Maurice Nkwuda and the traditional ruler, Ogbonnaya Ukwa are the ones instigating crisis in the community”, said Mr Nwikwe.

According to him, the recent crisis started after the duo lost a court case over the election of a new village head for the community. He said the community had elected one Mr Anthony Nwite to replace the former Village Head, Okemiri Otozi whose tenure expired in 2013 but held on to power till 2016 when the village conducted the election.

But the duo and the former village head went to court and the matter lingered till March this year when the Court gave judgement in favour of the villagers and directed that Mr Nwite should assume his position as village head.

They said all efforts to make peace with Nkwuda and his faction has proved abortive as they have continued to terrorise the community with cultists and armed mercenaries. “During the week, they attacked our community with their mercenaries who burnt down many houses. As I am speaking to you now, more than 40 houses have been burnt down in the community.

“There are 8 hamlets in our village and the 7 are completely in support of Mr Nwite. In the remaining Hamlet, there are two factions: those in support of Mr Nwite and those in support of Mr Nkwuda because that is his own hamlet.

So, why is he trying to force us to follow him when over 90 per cent of the community is not supporting him”.

The Police spokesperson said the wife of the Coordinator, Roseline denied the involvement of her husband in the whole crisis. (Vanguard)

Source: News Express

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