Friday, January 21

Anambra community protests monarch’s abduction, seeks Obiano’s intervention

By: Awesome Ekene

People of Ogwuaniocha community in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State, on Tuesday stormed the government house in protest of alleged abduction of their traditional ruler, Igwe Oliver Nnaji.

The protesters who carried placards with various inscriptions marched along Enugu-Onitsha expressway to the Governor’s office and the State Judiciary Headquarters, in Awka.

Some of the placards read,” Gov.Willie Obiano rescue Igwe Oliver Nnaji from captivity”, “Declare Mr Okwudiri Ogana and his Lion Squad Gang Wanted for Kidnapping Igwe Nnaji”, and “Ogwuaniocha Community Cries Out for Help”.

Others are: “Justice Emeka Okuma of Ogbaru High Court has caused doom in Ogwuaniocha” and “Chief Judge reassign our community case to a neutral judge”.

Anambra community protests monarch's abduction, seeks Obiano's intervention 1

Spokesperson and the President-General of the Community, Mr Chidi Eze alledged that the monarch was abducted from his palace on November 15 by a notorious group known as ‘Lion Squad’, led by one Okwudiri Ogana

He alleged that the palace of the abducted Royal father and four of his vehicles were also burnt during the incident, adding that the monarch had been in captivity for over 29 days with his whereabouts still unknown.

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He said, “We’ve reported the matter to all the police Commands in the state. We have also written several petitions to the House of Assembly and the Governor, till date, no response to our complaints.

“As the chief security officer of the state, we urge Gov. Obiano as a matter of urgency, to intervene and rescue Igwe Nnaji as well as secure the lives and property of our people.”

Also speaking, Secretary, Ogwuaniocha Youth Association, Mr Franklin Chukwujioha appealed to the governor to declare Mr Okwudiri Ogana and his gang wanted for alledged kidnapping of the traditional ruler.

He regretted that the abductors arrested and charged to court for kidnapping and illegal possession of firearms, were allegedly granted bail by Justice Emeka Okuma of Ogbaru High Court.

“The bail of this gang has given rise to more security breakdown in Ogwuaniocha. Our lives are in danger which is why we are having this protest.

“We are calling on the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Onochie Anyachebelu to reassign our case file to a neutral judge for justice to prevail,” he said.

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A former councillor of the community,
Mr Godwin Ngodi, linked the crisis to the crude oil discovered in the community.

Responding on behalf of the state government, Chief Security Adviser to Governor Willie Obiano, Mr Oscar Christopher, promised to deliver their petition letters to the governor.

He assured the protesters that their grievances were already being investigated by government in collaboration with security agencies.

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