Police have sealed off the palace of the factional monarch of Awka community, His Imperial Majesty, Eze Uzu III, Chief Austin Ndigwe.
Ndigwe was billed to hold the celebration of new yam festival in Awka Kingdom on Saturday when his palace was sealed.
Chief Ndigwe had sent out invitation to top politicians, monarch, journalists and other special guest from across the country to witness the new yam festival, but the event as at the time of filing this report was stalled.
Invitation sent out had read: You’re invited to the OTITE AWKA 2022 (Iri Ji Ofuu) festival of Awka Ancient Kingdom by the Obi of Awka Kingdom, His Imperial Majesty, Ozo Dr Austin Ndigwe. Date is Saturday 10th September 2022, by 11am, at the Palace of the monarch.”
Sources said some monarchs from across South East and beyond were already at the palace at about 11am, when a huge detachment of police and military men arrived and sealed off the palace, almost shutting in the invited monarchs.
“The police men and military chased everyone out of the palace, shooting canisters of teargas at youths who had attended the event. There was pandemonium when they started shooting, and a lot of people ran away, while many youths sustained injuries.” our source said.
A policeman who stopped this reporter from accessing the venue said they were acting on orders from above.
When journalists reached out to the spokesperson of Anambra State Police command, DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, he said he was not aware of any order to seal off the palace of the factional monarch.
Igwe Ndigwe when contacted said he was in a meeting and that he would get back to our reporter.
Recall that the traditional stool of Awka Kingdom has been a source of tussle for a few years now, after some influential members of the community claimed to have dethroned the monarch, Eze Uzu II, Igwe Gibson Nwosu.
Unconfirmed report however has it that a misunderstanding between Engr Arthur Eze and Igwe Austine Ndigwe was responsible for the sealing off of the palace.