NIGHTFALL IN UKPO COMMUNITY IN ANAMBRA



 An Igbo adage has it that a snake does not feed on its fellow snake, but this age long adage seems to have be subverted with the activities and dramas playing out inthe royal household of Ukpo community in DunukokiaLocal Government Area of Anambra State. With the constant revelation of new indicators of crisis and sharp disagreement within the royal household of Ukpocommunity which is connected to the recent arrest and detention of two princes of the kingdom, Prince Onyeka Eze and Prince Olisa Eze by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on allegation of financial fraud by their supposed uncle, emperor Prince Arthur Eze.

 

Recall that there have been various reports on social networks that reveals that the duo of Prince OnyekaEze and Prince Olisa Eze had been arrested and detained for more one month without being charged tocourt or the EFCC operatives obtaining a court order which would have given them the locus standi to continue to detain the two princes of the kingdomagainst their wishes.

 

Prince Onyeka Eze and Prince Olisa Eze, armed with this, approached a Federal High Court in Abuja to sue for the infringement on their fundamental human right by the EFCC and unlawful detention, wherein, they filed to be unconditionally released from the detention facility of the EFCC; the counsel to the two princes, Anthony O. Okpalah Esq filed this in suit No: M12891/2020 on behalf of his clients.

 

Report emanating from an online social network (247academia.com) has it that the Federal High Court seating in Abuja have issued an enrolment order for the adjournment of the case until 16th December, 2020, when the duo of Prince Onyeka Eze and Prince OlisaEze will be released having met their required bail conditions by the court. But there are indications that Prince Arthur Eze is bent on keeping the duo behind bars as Prince Arthur Eze was said to have left for Abuja on 13th December 2020 with an intention to truncate and influence the decision of the Federal High Court in Abuja from granting his nephews their constitutional rights of bail in the matter.

 

It has be revealed from a reliable source that the prayers for bail as was requested by the counsel to the applicants (Prince Onyeka Eze and Prince Olisa Eze) may not be granted by the presiding Judge, as there are allegations of a grand manipulation by Prince Arthur Eze who has remained provocatively perturbed on further interrogation into the allegations of financial crimes perpetuated by his nephews against him. And this new request is made after the EFCC had detained these two Princes for more than one month and have grilled them all through this period on the said allegations raised against them by their uncle, Prince Arthur Eze

 

A reliable source close to the Ukpo royal family has revealed that the new desperation for the continual detention of Prince Onyeka Eze and Prince Olisa Eze is aimed at preventing any form of protest that may disrupt the planned Igwe annual ofala festival in Ukpocommunity which was previously cancelled single handedly by Prince Arthur Eze, even when it was not in his place to do so, as the purported letter from him,ordering the cancellation of the festival had no backing notice or letter from the Igwe or the Igwe-in-Council which has the prerogative customary right to have called off the annual age long festival, but the present move to go ahead with the festival with the support of Prince Arthur Eze may not been unconnected by the level of opposition by some persons from Ukpocommunity who have opposed the earlier move made by Arthur Eze, and his recent change of stand is only done to save his face from public shame in his community.

 

It has also been revealed that there are plans to militarize and flood Ukpo community with anti-riot police officers within the period of the annual IgweOfala festival which has been slated for 19th December, 2020, to prevent any form of protest by the youths of Ukpo community to register their displeasure and high handedness that have been displayed by Prince Arthur Eze against his nephews, Prince Onyeka Eze and Prince Olisa Eze, who have been in detention on his orders. 

 

Recall that, this was the same move that was taken against the people of Abba community when many of their sons and daughters were arrested and detained in different police detention facilities across the federation in the heat of the land dispute tussle between Abba and Ukwulu/Ukpo communities, unfortunately, Arthur Eze has also decided to apply the same high handedness against his nephews and two princes of the community.

 

In another twist to the development between Prince Arthur Eze and his two nephews, Agency Reporter has it that “an Abuja High Court presided over by Justice S.B Belgore, has ordered the release of Prince OlisaEze and Onyeka Eze, who have been detained since November 11 at EFCC custody.

 

Giving the Enrolment Order “In the matter of application for redress by the applicants for infringement of their fundamental human rights”, between Prince Olisa Eze and Onyeka Eze (the applicants) and  EFCC and Price Arthur Eze, referred to as Respondents in the application, the Judge also ordered immediate unfreezing of all the applicants’ bank accounts.

 

The Order for their immediate release from EFCC custody and unfreezing of their accounts was based on the Motion which was filled by Anthony O. OkpalahEsq. with Motion Number M12891/2020 and dated 9th December 2020, in the High Court of Abuja Federal Capital Territory, Apo, Abuja.

 

The action of Prince Arthur Eze has only shown that darkness has beclouded Ukpo community and the people of Ukpo community are now left with the option to either take their destinies into their hands or remain in perpetual slavery and bondage under the iron grip of their local colonial master, Prince Arthur Eze.

 Azowue O. Emmanuel 




 

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