. . . Vows to Apprehend Killers of PG
By Jude Atupulazi
The dark clouds hovering over the Nimo Community following the murder of her President General, April 16, lifted last Thursday when the governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, finally gave a certificate of recognition to the traditional ruler of the town, His Royal Highness, Igwe Maximus Ikechukwu Oliobi, Owelle Nimo. Additional reports by Abuchi Onwumelu and Ikeugonna Eleke.
The recognition of the monarch by Obiano came 18 months after his victory in the election conducted by the town in 2017 for a successor to the late Owelle, John Ezedinaka Chukwu Okafor Agilo, who died in 2014.
But after the victory of the new Owelle, the government had stalled in recognizing him until last Thursday. His recognition came at a time the town was mourning her late President General, Sir Tony Igboka, who was gruesomely murdered by gunmen in his home town, a development that had thrown the entire state into shock.
But addressing the new monarch who was recognized along with his Awkuzu counterpart, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr Greg Obi, attributed the delay to the flouting of the state government’s directive against conducting town union or chieftaincy elections by communities during state elections.
He said apart from that, government always considered areas with leadership tussles and took its time before taking appropriate actions in order to ensure peaceful coexistence in communities in the state. This is even as he charged the newly recognized monarchs to use their position to promote peace in the communities and to support the government of the state in her programmes.
While issuing the certificates to the two monarchs, Gov Obiano charged them to be the eyes of government in their communities and to take charge of government’s community projects. He also charged them to immediately embark on reconciling all parties to take care of any grievances that might have arisen after their elections.
Making reference to the killing of the Nimo PG, Obiano charged them to be mindful of the plight of the youths in their areas, noting that the prime suspect in Igboka’s murder was a next door neighbor of the deceased.
Obiano also charged them to protect government’s interests in their communities by taking control of government’s ”Choose-your-project initiative”.
On the Igboka murder, Obiano expressed satisfaction that his promise of fishing out the culprits was kept, as, according to him, the prime suspect in the killing was arrested two days after the governor returned from abroad.
He assured the people of Nimo that the remaining three suspects would be found and made to pay for their crime, even as he reiterated his resolve to pay N5m on the head of each of the remaining suspects to anyone with information leading to their arrest.
In his acceptance speech, the Owelle expressed gratitude to the governor for his gesture, promising to live up to expectations. He becomes the fifth Owelle of the town.
Meanwhile the Omega Club Confraternity which the Owelle belongs to, has sent a congratulatory message to him. In the congratulatory letter made available to Fides and signed by the club’s chancellor, Barr Chuks Arubaleze, the club expressed happiness at the formal recognition of the Owelle as the traditional ruler of Nimo by Governor Willie Obiano.
It read, ‘As you receive your Certificate of Recognition today, we pray that the Almighty who crowned you shall be there to divinely guide and protect you. He shall grant you longevity on the throne and grant you divine wisdom and knowledge.
‘We, your friends, join your numerous admirers and well-wishers to pray that your reign shall be devoid of crisis. However, it shall bring peace and development to our dear town, Nimo.Congratulations!!’
The event was attended by many dignitaries from Nimo, including the traditional prime minister, Justice Godwin Ononiba, rtd; the House of Assembly member representing Njikoka 11 State Constituency, Hon Pete Ibida; cabinet chiefs; members of Omega Club Confraternity, Nimo; the traditional ruler of Abagana and the transition chairman of Njikoka Council, Hon George Ozoh; among others.
Meanwhile the Anambra State Police Command, last Monday announced the capture of the suspected lynchpin in the murder of the president general of Nimo, Chief Sir Frank Anthony Igboka.
The Commissioner of Police, Anambra State command, CP, Mustapha Dandaura made the announcement while parading the key suspect, Mr Chigbo Anyaegbu, to newsmen at the Command Headquarters in Awka.
The suspect, Anyaegbu, a.k.a Transformer, 27 years old, who hails from Nimo and lives in the same neighborhood with the assassinated PG, confessed to having three accomplices who are currently at large.
The suspected accomplices are: Smart (surname unknown) from Aguleri; Chukwunonso, alias Nwa Sammy from Obosi and Obinna Okafor from Onitsha.
The suspect confessed that they carried out the act because his gang was banished from the community by the deceased PG of Nimo. He however denied being the one that shot the deceased.
The suspect said the deceased had chased members of his gang from the town, insisting they would not return until they turned a new leaf.
Anyaegbu, who confessed being a member of the Vikings Cult Group, however claimed he ignorantly joined the gang in the vehicle from a neighboring town and followed them to his community where the killing took place.
He said, ‘I was at Oye-Olise (Ogbunike) when they picked me. They told me to join them for an operation, but I was not told that the operation involved the killing of Igboka.
‘That was why I was speechless when they started shooting the man. I don’t have any personal issue with him. After all, two of us are from the same village. The only mistake I made was entering the vehicle without confirming exactly where they were headed.’
Meanwhile, the State Commissioner of Police, Dandaura, said Governor Willie Obiano had increased the cash reward of N5m earlier promised to anybody with useful information that could lead to the arrest of the remaining suspects to N15million.
Addressing reporters at the police headquarters at Amawbia, the commissioner said the increment followed the arrest of the lynchpin who hailed from the same community as the slain Igboka.
He said three of the members of the gang were at still large, adding that efforts were being made to track them.
‘I’m happy to announce that His Excellency has increased the price of anybody who can lead the police to arrest the remaining three suspects to N5million each,’ Dandaura said, disclosing that the police had intensified efforts to arrest the other gang members.
Describing the month of April as a blessing to the command following a harvest of arrests recorded in the month, Dandaura, disclosed that a total of 265 suspects were arrested.
CP Dandaura also paraded other suspects arrested for murder, cultism and drug trafficking.
He urged the public to assist the police with any useful information that would help in the apprehension of the fleeing culprits.