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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Ikemba Title: Nnobi Palace Denies Knowing Ugokwe As Title Holder


By Joseph Ude

The Palace of the Traditional Ruler of Nnobi in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State has denied knowing Amb. Jerry Ugokwe as a title holder in the community.

The Palace Secretary of the town, Ichie Ezeobi Ajaghaku, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen
on the crisis rocking the town, where he declared that the acclaimed status of Amb. Ugokwe is not to the knowledge of the Palace.

According to him, since the year 1999 when the former House of Representatives member, Amb. Ugokwe, came with some condoms as Constituency Project, he has never visited the palace.

Ichie Ezeobi said, in all his correspondences with the palace, Amb. Ugokwe had never attached the Ikemba title to his name.

“We don’t know him as Ikemba Nnobi,” the Palace secretary stressed.

Ichie Ezeobi

He said the last time Ugokwe came to the Palace along, with an Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), was to disorganize the Igwe’s Ofala festival and to arrest the Igwe — a braggadocio ill-conceived move that was thwarted by Igwe’s in-law, who was a Commissioner of Police.

Ichie Ezeobi also accused the President-General of Nnobi, Mr. Dom Okpala, with Ichie Okpala, Col. Etuka, Obi Okpala, Dr. Pat Mbanefo, Ifeanyi Ezeadum, and some others of being behind the plot to undermine the authority of Igwe of Nnobi.

He further explained how Okpala Nnobi, Chief Ifezue Onyechi, scheduled an appointment for the Peace Committee to see the Igwe on the 26th January, 2024, a meeting the Igwe invited some people to join him in, to receive the team.

He, however, said on that day, they all waited in vain without seeing the people who scheduled the appointment with them; adding that when they called Okpala, he claimed that he forgot to inform the Igwe that the appointment had been shelved because of the alleged bench warrant served the PG.

Ichie Ezeobi said in the process of their discussion, Okpala made a derogatory remark about the monarch, as quoted thus: “…That man, we would deal with him” (apparently referring to the traditional ruler), which he (Ezeobi) described as a show of lack of respect for the Igwe and the traditional institution of the town, by the group.

He revealed that the PG had also been writing insulting letters to the Igwe, the latest being the recent one in which he gave Igwe 14 days ultimatum to react to the allegation that he has dethroned Okpala by removing his seat at the Palace among the members of the Igwe-in-Council.

Speaking further, the Palace Secretary alleged that Okpala and Col. Etuka have their eyes on the throne of Nnobi, noting that the PG of the town has no power or say concerning the Igwe-in-Council, in accordance with the Constitution of the town. He further opined that the bias of the Nnobi PG in the last and previous meetings was too obvious, even to the point that he slammed an elderly, tilted man the sum of N5,000 for standing up to express his views, after having earlier fined him N50,000 in a meeting for attempting to express his views.

The Palace Secretary also added that the Ngo and Ebenesi zones in the community have withdrawn their chiefs from the Igwe-in-Council, in a bid to frustrate the traditional ruler.

He said the so-called Nnobi Peace Committee Report was doctored, alleging that Col. Etuka openly boasted that he wrote almost 70 percent of the Report.

He also alleged that Okpala and others have boasted that the Anambra State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs is in their pockets, saying that they told people that would manipulate the case at the Ministry.

According to him, this was also what they did when they removed the former elected PG.

For the benefit of the doubt, the Palace secretary also explained that Igwe Engr Nick Obi (FNSE) ascended the throne in 2007, and since then, has celebrated six Ofala festivals and 17 Ashiolu festivals, fully bankrolled by himself.

He further alleged that those who defected from the defunct Nnobi Development Union (NDU) after they lost in the Court, including the President-General, are the people behind the current crisis in the community.

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