REJOINDER – Re: ‘The Gabriel Ogbechie that I know’ – Need to set records straight

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By Fred Akpewe

Our attention has been drawn to the highly misleading half page publication in the Vanguard Edition of June 21, 2021 with the headline: “The Gabriel Ogbechie that I know,” authored by one Okechukwu Omezi.

In this highly vexatious publication Omezi wrote: “There is no real dispute to the legitimacy of the claim of Obi Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko to the throne of Idumuje-Ugboko”. Omezi seem to be living in the past as this issue of Chukwunonso Nwoko’s claim to the throne has already been settled in favour of HRM Solomon Eziokwubundu Nwabuokei Nwoko as Obi-Designate of the community.

The Aniocha North Traditional Rulers Committee acting on the choice of a new Obi by the elders, chiefs and king makers of Idumuje-Ugboko has already transmitted its recommendation to the Delta State Government in two separate letters dated 28th January, 2021 and 20th April, 2021 respectively for recognition and staff of office to be given to the new Obi-Designate. Further letters recommending same have been written to the Delta State Government by Aniocha North Local Government Council and HRM Obi Professor Chike Edozien, the Asagba of Asaba.

Also the 90 hectares of land for the university and golf course projects has been settled as it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that Prince Ned Nwoko legitimately acquired the lands in question with approval given by the late Obi Albert Nwoko III after a painstaking investigation and assessment by the Lands Allocation Committee of the community. These legitimate procedures of land acquisition have been corroborated by the former Chairman of Aniocha North Local Government Council, Hon. Chuks Oseme and the former Special Adviser to the Delta State Governor of Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Chief Edwin Uzor in their separate reports.

We also wish to ask Okechukwu Omezi to read the IGP’s fact finding committee report which exonerated Prince Ned Nwoko of any untoward land deals and also reprimanded Chris Aligbe, the petitioner for giving false and defamatory report against Prince Ned Nwoko.

We also wish to remind Okechukwu Omezi that the culprits in the 2017 mayhem in Idumuje-Ugboko are being tried for terrorism and murder charges having destroyed properties of indigenes of Idumuje-Ugboko, maimed several other persons and caused the death of two persons, Cyprian Kumiolu and Kennedy Iloh. For Okechukwu Omezi therefore to say in his write-up that “The situation has worsened to baseless arrests and dubious criminal allegations” and that “the alleged offences are often phantom and non-existent” is to say the least very irresponsible and callous to the extent of standing the truth on its head.

It is unfortunate that Okechukwu Omezi sees himself as a reverend gentleman but which his write up discountenances. His write-up reduces him as a jobber, one on the payroll of Gabriel Ogbechie. The account of such a man cannot be taken seriously in decent society. Every decent Idumuje-Ugboko person, and indeed, Anioma indigene is aware of the 2017 Idumuje-Ugboko mayhem perpetuated by thugs financed by Nonso Nwoko, Gabriel Ogbechie, Okey Ifejoku and others.

There are over 29 victims of the crisis who still bear the scars of the mindless attacks. The assailants are still being tried by the Federal Courts and the Police. Anyone who has a contrary opinion or evidence should come to the Federal High Court as a witness and not on social media trying desperately to combat truth with falsehood. Their conspiracy theories are only matched by some Donald Trump supporters who claim that the insurrection at Capitol Hill never occurred and even if it did that it was planned by CIA. These guys around Nonso Nwoko are desperate to avoid the upcoming trial but this is in vain. The truth will emerge from the trials or from the confessions.

We recall also that similar baseless allegations done by a newspaper against Prince Ned Nwoko have made the latter to sue the medium for libel.

Okechukwu is advised to go back to crosscheck his facts as his main reason for his publication is seen as a means to curry the favour of Gabriel Ogbechie rather than celebrate the peace that has come to the once beleaguered Idumuje-Ugboko Community.

  • Fred Akpewe is Media Aide to the Obi of Idumuje-Ugboko.

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