Best Aluminum Proprietor Still with Us – Anambra Correctional Centre

By Jude Atupulazi

The whereabouts of the proprietor of Best Aluminium,   Chief Pius Nweke, has been clarified by the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Awka, which says he is still in their custody. The clarification came in the wake of allegations that the Abba High Chief had been whisked away to an unknown destination.

Nweke was convicted recently by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Awka, Anambra State, on a two-count charge marked FHC/AWK/CR/45/2020, brought against him by the Inspector General of Police, which relate to possession of firearms and of ammunition without a licence.

Some weeks ago, Nweke’s Abba Community in the Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, alleged that they had a reasonable suspicion that Nweke must have gone missing in prison.

In a statement by the President General of Abba Town Union (ATU) Alexander Ekwuagana, the community accused the Comptroller of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Awka Correctional Centre, Mr. Patrick Chukwuemeka, of complicity in the travails of  Nweke.

The community’s press statement read in part,”On Tuesday, 27th June 2023, a group of armed personnel led by the Comptroller of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Awka Correctional Centre, Mr. Chukwuemeka Patrick, purportedly acting on the instructions of the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Correctional Service, whisked away Chief Pius Nweke (an Abba son and the holder of the title of Ikemba of Abba Town) from the Onitsha Correctional Centre where he is an inmate to a destination yet to be established.

“Preliminary inquiries suggest that Chief Pius Nweke may be on his way to Kuje Correctional Centre, FCT, Abuja and the reason for this sudden movement is yet not clear.

“Since he was whisked away the members of the family of Chief Pius Nweke, his lawyers, friends and well-wishers, have not been able to establish contact with him.”

But reacting to the development on Tuesday, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Anambra State, Mr Phrank Kez, described the Abba Community’s allegation as untrue.

The PRO said,’We don’t have any missing inmate. Who said he is missing? Most times, people insinuate; do you understand? But the thing that disturbs is that most times they know the right thing but they just want to buy sympathy by insinuation.

‘He (Nweke) is in our custody; he is not missing. Nobody has declared him missing. If he is missing you would have heard it all over the media. You would have been notified.

‘He’s not missing. If he is missing, they (Abba Community) would have gone with placards. You would have seen them going on placards. Don’t they know the court that convicted him and sent him there (prison)?

‘He (Nweke) is the property of the court; they can go back to the court to tell the court that the person is missing.’

Kez further recalled how same thing was said about Abba Kyari sometime ago that he was missing and that he had died. He insisted there was there was nothing like regarding the fate of Nweke.