PRINCE ARTHUR EZE AND THE BURNING FLAME IN UKPO COMMUNITY IN ANAMBRA




In the words of Debbie Ogunjobi (2006), “Truth can be very bitter, but it is also liberating”. The issue of Arthur Eze, the acclaimed billionaire from Ukpocommunity in Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State, as it concerns the misunderstanding between him and his two nephews who have been serving him for many years now have been on a frontline issue in many social media platforms. But many of the stories that have been disclosed have failed to relate the main issues that led to the disagreement which prompted Arthur Eze to have used the operatives of the EFCC to arrest and detain his two nephews for more than one month now and still counting. 

 The duo of Mr. Olisa Eze and Onyeka Eze who are the sons of the late step brother of Arthur Eze were alleged to have defrauded Prince Arthur Eze of millions of naira which prompted him to invite the operatives of the EFCC to arrest and detain them on the grounds of the allegations levied against them.

 

The operatives of the EFCC were said to have arrested Olisa Eze and Onyeka Eze on the 10th of November 2020 and took them into custody in their headquarters in Abuja. Unfortunately, while under detention, the operatives of the EFCC failed to secure any court order that should warrant the detention of the duo beyond 24hours, thereby taking the law into their hands, and yielding to the whims and caprices of a money bag that must have financially induced them into infringing into the human fundamental rights of the two brothers. 

 

Until this moment, the allegation against the duo has not been substantiated and they have remained in the custody of the EFCC against their constitutional right of freedom of movement. This can only be possible in a country like Nigeria where the rich can have their way against the poor, and nothing is said or done about it. 

 

While claiming to still be investigating the matter before it, the EFCC took the duo of Olisa Eze and Onyeka Eze to their office in Enugu State for a supposed further investigation on the 1st of December, 2020. They were later taken to their hometown, Ukpocommunity on the 3rd of December 2020 for a supposed further investigation, and were thereafter returned and detained in Enugu State. 

 

While in Ukpo community, some youths and women from the community protested against what they termed as an undue high-handedness, intimidation and humiliation of the two princes of the community by their uncle, Prince Arthur Eze. They castigated the action of Arthur Eze for using the operatives of the EFCC to humiliate his supposed sons who have worked with him for several years now without any complain, but that Arthur Eze allowed himself to be deceived into believing that that the sons of his brother defrauded him even when there are no substantial proofs to back up his claims. 

 

While addressing the angry protesting youths, women and children in Ukpo community, Mr. Olisa Ezeacknowledged that he has been serving the brother of his late father with a clear heart and mind, and that it was unfortunate that him and his brother would have to pass through such humiliating treatment in the hands of the person they saw and regarded as their father. He further declared that it has been revealed that about five persons, some from neigbouring communities and their community where behind their present ordeal. He mentioned one Mr. Christian Nwafor (from Abba), Mr. Arinze Anyika (from Enugu-Ukwu), Mr Anthony Igu(from Nimo), Mr. Ani Obiora (from Ukpo) and MrsAmaka Araka (from Nimo married in Alor), all were behind their being framed up for something they know nothing about. And he declared that because of the crime of these persons against the two princes of the community, they have been declared as persona non grata in Ukpo community. It is worthy to not both Anthony and Amaka’s father, Justice Igu is a retired Justice of the Supreme Court who is said to have been in Arthur Eze payroll, no wonder the children have alsobeen enlisted by Arthur Eze to continue from where their father stopped. Arthur Eze has been severally accused of making use of fifth columnists in any community he is having issues with, and this is hinged on the method of his recruitment of his followers from other communities and his community too. 

 

You will recall that Prince Arthur Eze has been having a running battle with the people of Abba and Abaganacommunities on issues relating to land dispute, and the people of Abba have been more vocal and resistant in allowing Arthur Eze have his way in annexing their land for himself, and this had prompted him to use the presently disbanded SARS operatives to harass, humiliate, arrest and detain many sons of Abba community in order to have his way. And it was alleged that this was one of the reasons he lobbied for the location of the Nigerian Police zone 13 in Ukpo, as they were to be used to further intimidate and harass the people of Abba in order for them to succumb to his wishes of taking over their ancestral piece of land.

 

Some prominent and notable personalities in Anambra State were said to have warned Arthur Eze against his land grabbing expedition against the people of Abba on the grounds that, the forefathers of both communities had entered into a sacred oath which forbids either of the communities to encroach beyond the sacred boundaries that had been agreed by both ancient communities. Even after these admonitions, Arthur Ezepaid deaf ears to these warnings and went ahead to continue to harass and intimidate the people of Abba to forfeit their ancestral land to him. Though, the matter is still under litigation, it appears that the gods of the land have taken over the battle against Arthur Eze which must have given rise to his present misunderstanding with Abba, Abagana, his state governor, Willie Obiano, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, Senator Pius Anyim, among others. 

 

Already, the duo of Mr. Olisa Eze and Mr. Onyeka Ezehave declared that after their present ordeal, they will cease to work for Arthur Eze, as continually working for him appears to be against their interest and the interest of their community. 

It is worthy to note that, some prominent sons of Anambra State, including his uncle, the king of Ukpocommunity, Igwe Robert Eze had intervened in the dispute between Arthur Eze and his nephews. They pleaded with him to withdraw the matter from the EFCC to enable the matter to be settled in the family, a plea Arthur Eze resisted, even though he had accepted to harken to their interventions. 

 

The continual detention of Olisa Eze and Onyeka Ezeprompted the women married into the royal family of Eze to storm Arthur Eze’s house in Enugu State to register their displeasure for his action. They cried and wailed, rolling themselves on the floor in front of his house to register their grieves against the action of Arthur Eze against his nephews. 

 

As at the time of filing this report, Arthur Eze could not be reached to state his own side of the story, but what is playing out in Ukpo appears to be the same thing that was meted on the people of Abba same period last year, when many of their prominent sons were detained in police custody over the land dispute matter. And it appears that the gods of the ancestral land of Abba seems to have instigated the present confusion and disagreement presently playing out in Ukpo royal family and the community at large.

Azowue O. Emmanuel

 

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