By: Mokwugwo Solomon
Investigation Police Officer (IPO), Madu Bukar; has told Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Awka, Anambra State Capital, that investigation conducted by the Anambra state police command over the authenticity or otherwise of the certificate of recognition paraded by the traditional ruler of Isiagu community, Awka South Local Government Area of the state, showed that the monarch, Austin Ozoemenam Nwankwo, has authentic certificate from Anambra state government.
A claimant to the traditional stool of the community, Chief Ben Ifeatu, had petitioned the Anambra State Police Command, through the office of the commissioner of police in the state, CP John Abang, claiming that certificate of recognition paraded by Igwe Austin Nwankwo was forged; a development that led to the arrest of Igwe Nwankwo for alleged forgery and false claim.
But when the matter came up at the Magistrate Court III in Awka, on Wednesday, August 19, 2020; the Investigation Police Officer, Mr. Madu Bukar, told the court that from police findings, certificate of recognition paraded by Igwe Nwankwo was authentic.
“Chief Ben Ifeatu had petitioned the police that certificate of recognition being paraded by Igwe Austin Nwankwo was fake. It was based on that information that the police arrested Igwe Austin Nwankwo for alleged forgery and false claim. However, the police wrote the office of the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs in the state, for confirmation or disclaimer.
“The state government, through a letter dated September 23, 2014, confirmed that Igwe Austin Nwankwo’s certificate was genuine, and that it came from them. The state government also stated in the said letter that Igwe Austin Ozoemenam Nwankwo was issued certificate of recognition by former governor of Anambra State; Mr. Peter Obi; on March 7, 2014.
“The police also took its investigation to Isiagu community, where independent respondents also confirmed that Igwe Austin Nwankwo was duly elected at the Isiagu Central School, on November 12, 2013.
“The police also got as evidence, a video record of how the election went, and how Igwe Austin Nwankwo emerged in the presence of officials of the Anambra State government.
“Armed with these facts, the police was convinced that Chief Ben Ifeatu’s petition was false and mischievous. Thus, police released Igwe Nwankwo, arrested Chief Ifeatu and charged him to court,” he said.
After listening to the matter, the presiding magistrate, Mrs Nonye Anayegbunam, adjourned the matter to November 18, 2020, for cross examination of the accused person.