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Nzelu seeks disbandment of Nwodo-led Ohanaeze-Ndigbo, EFCC’s probe

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Amobi Nzelu

A renowned lawyer and human rights activist, Amobi Nzelu, has urged the disbandment, investigation, prosecution and probe of rival apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, led by John Nnia Nwodo, over alleged operation of the body which, according to him, is unknown to law of the land.

The call is coming about 40 days after the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) reinstated the Certificate of Registration of Incorporated Trustees of Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly (ONGA) with original registration No. 144918 of February 28, 2020 under the leadership of Basil Onyeachonam Onuorah.

In a petition to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), National Security Adviser and Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nzelu called to mind the fact that successive President-Generals, including Nwodo, had led Ohanaeze-Ndigbo, which was not duly registered and as such, is an illegal association and cannot transact any business it is transacting now.

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The same petition against Nwodo was sent to the Director-General of Department of State Services (DSS) and governors of core Igbo speaking states of Abia, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Rivers.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo, led by Chief John Nnia Nwodo, has no certificate of incorporation and as such is an entity unknown to law. The only reasonable deduction for the group being unregistered is that it is an illegal body and all her activities null and void,” he said.

Nzelu, acting on behalf of ONGA, further contended that the only logical deduction from the said non-registration and illegal operation “is that the monies collected by the said association were collected illegally and this has brought the action of the said association within the threshold of financial crime which must be investigated.

He, therefore, demanded detailed account by past and present leaders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo for all monies collected from individuals, governors and highly exposed political personalities, as well as arrest, interrogation and prosecution of principal officers of Ohanaeze for running the purported illegal body.

According to him: “In a country like ours, to allow someone or a group of people to operate an illegal association of such a magnitude smacks of impunity and no matter how long they have been in existence, same cannot confer legitimacy on the association and its activities.”

Nzelu revealed that before Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly (ONGA) was incorporated, a search was carried out in the CAC as to its availability, stressing: “It was discovered that no association with the name Ohanaeze Ndigbo has been registered before.”

He added that it was on the premise that ONGA was registered and issued Certificate of Incorporation No. 144918 dated February 28, 2020.

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