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Ebonyi community boils over alleged false accusation against village head – By Magnus Aluma/Abakaliki


The burnt car belonging to John Nwiboko

 The leadership tussle rocking Igweledeoha Ezza-Inyimegu, a village in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, has worsened, following allegations of threat to life, character assassination and destruction of properties, worth millions of naira in the area.

Summit News gathered that the crisis rocking the community was as a result of the disagreement among major stakeholders of the community, over the status and power of their village Heads.

Early last week, the residential apartment of an Izzi stakeholder, John Nwiboko, at Amikeaba in the Ebonyi LGA was attacked, with his 504 Peugeot car set ablaze, by suspected irate mob from the troubled community.

Investigations revealed that the case which has lingered for some months now, was as a result of the fines placed on some prominent members of the community, including, Mr Joseph Nwambam, Sunday Abachi, Ogbonna Nwizi, Joseph Nkwegu and Ogbaga Itsuke, by the people of Igweledeoha, as penalty for falsely accusing their village Head, Mr Cyril Nwite.

It was gathered that the Ebonyi State secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Charles Ofoke, and the Coordinator of Nnodo Development Centre, Chijioke Nwuzor, are already in Police custody, for their alleged involvement in the crime.

The suspects, who were released on bail, later appeared before an Investigative Panel of the Ebonyi State Police Command, last week, where they gave useful information to enable the police get to the root of the matter.

Recall that the victim, Comrade John Nwiboko, who is a staff of the Alex-Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, alleged that he was attacked  because of a little misunderstanding involving his village Head, Cyril Nwite.

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He told our reporter in an interview, that his 504 Peugeot car was burnt even after he revealed that the immediate past chairman of Izzi LGA of Ebonyi State, Mr Paul Nwogha, was directly involved in the matter.

Mr. Nwiboko in an emotion ladden voice, said he narrowly escaped death after his his attackers had set his car ablaze and destroyed over ten million naira worth of valuables in his house. 

But in a swift reaction, the erstwhile Council Chairman, Mr Paul Nwogha,  described the allegations against him as falsehood and a calculated attempt by his enemies to tarnish his image.

“My reaction is very simple. I have never involved myself in the destruction of property, let alone burning anybody’s car. It’s just an allegation, which is a subject of investigation.

“Thank God that the matter is before the Police let them go and do a thorough investigation, and if I am part of it, not only if I am part of it in the sense that I participated by proxy, but if I participated in person; if I participated in financing the attack, of course, I should be held culpable”, he said.

He continued:  “I am telling you categorically that I am not part of the attack. What rather happened was that when he petitioned against a group of persons accusing them of burning his car, and I was then the Chairman of my Local Government and I know very well that he is from my area, I decided to intervene”‘, he emphasized.

Counsel to the victim, Barrister Michael Odo had in a petition argued that the suspects including Chijioke Nwuzor were accused of attempted murder, illegal possession of firearms and explosives, willful burning down of vehicle and conduct likely to cause a breach of public security in the state.

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The petition dated October 6, 2022 and addressed to the Director of State Security Service (DSS), Ebonyi State Command, reads: “Our client (John Nwiboko) informed us that on January 31, 2022 at about 11:45 pm, the suspects and others whose names are unknown to our clients but can be recognized if seen, armed themselves with guns, clubs, axes, explosives and several other deadly weapons and invaded our client’s private compound at No. 8 Comrade John Nwiboko Close Amike-Aba, in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State”. 

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