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Shock As Journalist Accuses Enugu Traditional Ruler Of Forgery, Seeks Removal From Office
Mr. Ikem Okuhu, a Lagos-based journalist, has accused the traditional ruler of Nguru Nsukka autonomous community in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State of forgery and deceit.
Ikem has also given the State government a 21-day notice to withdraw his staff of office or face litigation.
In a letter, dated, 11th May, 2021 and written by his lawyers, Eli Ugwu & Associates, the journalist claimed that the constitution that the Enugu State Government relied on to grant autonomous status to Nguru community was forged by the Igwe, in connivance with a non-governmental organisation, Nguru Nsukka Progressives Supreme General Assembly.
In the pre-action notice, signed by Barr Eli Ugwu and submitted to the office of the Attorney General of the State, it was claimed that Nguru Nsukka had, prior to being granted autonomous community status, never had a constitution, insisting that the Igwe stool currently occupied by Linus Obayi is illegal, having been procured with a forged community constitution.
The letter, obtained by our correspondent, reads in part: “Our client has decided to challenge the coronation and issuance of certificate of recognition to HRH Igwe Linus Obayi of Nguru Nsukka on the ground that his emergence as Igwe was obtained fraudulently and against due process of the Law and as such, cannot represent the will of the people.
“It is a known principle that no autonomous community can exist without a subsisting constitution. But Linus Obayi, in collaboration with a few vested interests, forged a constitution that was erroneously relied upon to grant autonomous status to the Nguru community.
“Sometime in 2017, Nguru people began to hear rumours of a planned creation of Autonomous Communities out of the then Nkpunano Autonomous Community. While everyone was waiting for what was taken to be the next lines of action, information began to filter that a one Linus Obayi, son to the former Igwe of Nsukka, the late Igwe Patrick Obayi, had, started campaigning for the Igwe stool and had actually instigated the formation of a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) for that purpose.
“This NGO, known by the name, Nguru Nsukka Progressives Supreme General Assembly, was eventually registered in May 2018, and according to documents at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), for the purpose of, among other things, it was registered for the following objectives: to promote and protect the interest of members, to assist in developmental issues in Nguru community and to contribute and support sustainable development of Nguru community.
“Although our client and some other members of Nguru community published a Caveat Emptor in Vanguard Newspaper of September 24, 2018, clearly stating the legal status of the group and cautioning the public, including the Enugu State Government, not to deal with the said NGO for, and on behalf of Nguru community, Linus Obayi, in connivance with this NGO, went ahead to deceive the State Government to believe Nguru Progressives Supreme General Assembly was the same as Nguru Town Union. He also connived with this NGO to forge a constitution they purported to be the Constitution of Nguru Nsukka Community and with that, they deceived the State Government into granting an autonomous community to Nguru.”
Insisting that Nguru people had only recently made a constitution for themselves, the letter claimed that there had never been a time in the community that the issue of enacting a constitution was discussed by the people and accused the Igwe of using the purportedly forged constitution “to hoodwink the State Government into granting an autonomous community which, today, he appears to be the biggest beneficiary.”
The letter also accused the Igwe of meddling in the town union formation in the community, in a sustained effort to cover the crime of forgery he had committed that allegedly paved the way for his emergence as the traditional ruler of the community.
“Our client is a law-abiding citizen and has decided to follow the due process of the Law in seeking redress. The Enugu State Government is, by this letter, being put on notice that a legal action will be instituted against it, its agencies and privies and all other parties involved in this illegality, if within 21 working days, it has not withdrawn the staff of office and certificate of recognition given to Linus Obayi as the Igwe of Nguru Nsukka Autonomous Community,” the petitioner concluded.
efforts made to obtain reaction from the monarch were unsuccessful as of the time filing this report as calls put out to him were not answered. Text messages sent to him have also not been responded to.