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Group berates police for ‘invading’ Nwoko’s palace

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The last has not been seen on the drama at Idumuje-Ugboko in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State over the arrest of the Obi of Idumeje Ugboko Kingdom, Chukwunonso Nwoko, last weekend.

A social-political youth group, Anioma Youth Forum – Worldwide (AYF-W), Asaba has condemned in its entirety, the invasion and subsequent abduction of the monarch.

The group leader, Nnamdi Ofonye, in a statement, by the national publicity secretary, Ekwukwo Elvis, expressed shock on the invasion and abduction of “Nwoko like a common criminal over allegations of killing and burial of some unnamed persons in his palace.”

According to him, “We deem this act as a complete desecration of our traditional institution and a dent on the image of the revered custodians of our culture and customs.

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“It is even more worrisome, coming at a time when the Nigerian Police is building the much-needed synergy between them and the civil populace. Although, nobody is bigger than the law.

“We, however, insist that as the chief Custodian of the Idumuje Ugboko kingdom, that act of brigandage and unruly actions at the Obi’s palace by men of Nigerian Police to state the obvious, is very nauseating, insulting, ridiculing, uncalled for and above all, unacceptable.”

While expressing their appreciation to the state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa for his timely intervention that led to the freedom of the yet to be gazetted monarch from the police net, noted that the police should have better ways of dealing with such issues concerning a respectable Anioma palace.

The group insisted, “The place of the traditional institution in attainment of a peaceful society cannot be overemphasized hence, it is pertinent for the Nigerian Police to apply caution and deploy the best policing practices in dealing with matters involving our such highly revered stool, as they treat some highly placed individuals and political officeholders.

Furthermore, AYF-W stated that their commitment at championing the cause of peaceful coexistence of all and sundry, while reiterating its unwavering pledge, “To partner with the police and other security agencies in building a stronger Police/People Partnership that will foster a more robust and collaborative fight against all forms of crimes and criminality in the state and make the society a better place for all to live in.”

Prince Nwoko, who was arrested by the Police early Saturday, July 18, after weeks of allegedly evading police arrest over an alleged murder case, was accused of parading himself as the Obi (monarch) of the Idumuje-Ugboko Kingdom without the required Staff of Office by the State Government.

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Our correspondent gathered from a source in the community, who pleaded anonymity, that the kingdom that has been faced with concurrent leadership tussle.

“Idumuje-Ugboko was humiliated early Saturday morning as members of the Nigerian Police, Asaba invaded the Royal palace of Obi Nonso Nwoko, destroyed his doors, tear gas and whisked him away, inside an unmarked vehicle, to an unknown destination,” the source told our correspondent.

“This is the worst desecration of the ancient kingdom of our community and a bold slap on our faces. And we make bold to say that a threat to the life of our Obi is a threat to our lives, as Ugboko has been bruised with this sacrilege on our well-respected monarchy.”

Wife of the king, Queen Dumebi Nwoko, also confirmed to journalists that her husband was actually whisked away from his palace at about 2 a.m in vehicles that stormed the palace with heavily armed men. This reportedly led to pandemonium in the rural community as a result of the style with which operatives invaded the palace at the weekend and took the monarch away.

Commissioner of Police in the state, Hafiz Inuwa, who confirmed the development to the media in Asaba, disclosed that some suspects were arrested in connection with the suspected murder case, and that investigation was in progress.

The CP debunked claims that Nwoko was abducted, saying, “We went there to arrest him for refusing to honour our invitation over a suspected murder case. He has since be left to go home, and he apologized for not initially honouring the invitation.”

Meanwhile, Prince Ned Nwoko’s spokesman, Nobert Chiazor, declined to comment on the issue.


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