By Okereke Wilson Ogbonnaya
Two young men, Mr. Victor Chinedu Osuaka and his cousin, Mr. Friday Osuaka, on Thursday 13th May, 2021 were arrested by members of Nigeria Police Force, Ebonyi State command for allegedly keeping some items suspected to be charms in the compounds of their kinsmen at Obegu Village, Onuebonyi Inyimagu Community in Abakaliki.
A supposed victim, Mr. Nwabueze Okemini said that on the fateful day, he woke up and discovered that the substance attached with a document bearing his name was kept at the frontage of his compound.
According to him, other paper which was found together with the charm was directing that he should report at the shrine in Okija, Anambra State and for him to be sure, he went to Mr. Okechukwu being the complainant in the summon and asked him about the action.
“When I met him, he told me that his action was as a result of a piece of land given to him during the tenure of Chief Paul Okekwe, being the village head then, which was later taken away from him (Mr. Okechukwu) by some persons.
“I then told him that since it is a piece of land involving the entire village, that he should not have taken it personally against me especially as I do not know anything about the said property.
“In the course of my inquiry, he even made mention of the present leadership and along the line threatened that my generation would be eliminated diabolically unless, I join their group.
“As it stands now, I am appealing to the state government to intervene in this matter because I have not seen such since my birth even as I am talking now, the charm is still lying at the frontage of my house” he said.
Hon. Edigbo Sunday, the village head of Obegu Azuiyiokwu Inyimagu village, Izzi Unuhu Community in Abakaliki LGA told us that around 28th April, 2021, one of the stakeholders, Chief Vincent Ndanyi drew his attention towards separate charms which some persons deposited at the gate of his compound.
“Upon my arrival at the man’s compound, I saw what I have not experienced since my birth and since the creation of the village, while I was still contemplating on what to do about the situation; Mr. Nwabueze Okemini called me on phone stating that a similar talisman was in his compound too.
“Mr. Chibuike Nwangwuta’s compound was not left out too, as the man also contacted me on phone and intimated me over the development.
“After I have seen all the fetish items, I decided to involve police into the matter” and along the line we discovered that the said charms were brought from a shrine known as “OGWUGWUAKPU-UBAHU, Ezike Okija” that situates at Ihiala LGA of Anambra State.
“While the people who committed the evil act were Mr. Okechukwu Nwangwuta, Samuel Uguru, former village head, Chinedu Victor Osuaka, Uchenna Uguru, Friday Osuaka and nine others” he explained.
According to him, after he had seen the anger in the youths and what might be the resultant effect, if the men were not controlled on time, he then quickly involved police officers who affected arrests of some of the accused persons.
Chief Edigbo further disclosed that the matter was remotely caused by a contention over a piece of land which Mr. Okechukwu Nwangwuta’s father (now late) sold to Mr Odii Emmanuel’s father and Mbam Oghara around 1982, the transaction which took place even before Mr. Okechukwu was borne in 1986.
“In the recent period when, late Nwangwuta’s family championed by Mr. Okechukwu, reported the matter to the people of the area, after much consultations and deliberations made by the villagers, a verdict was passed indicating that the complainants should let go by leaving the land for the buyer since the transaction then, was done peacefully.
“This is just the bone of contention while another factor is that Mr. Okechukwu and his group are in the habit of selling already sold pieces of land, an action which our leadership abhor.
“And to enable members of the diabolical group have their way without being confronted by anybody, they decided to kill some of us whom they are perceiving as their enemies through fetish means”
Chief Edigbo further appealed to the government that Mr. Okechukwu, Samuel Uguru and their cohorts should be handled in accordance with the law, so that there would be absolute peace in the area.
He added that the perpetrators had told them that the charms could only be removed when the supposed victims pay fines ranging between one hundred and thirty thousand and one hundred and forty thousand naira respectively before Okija shrine priest would come by himself for the evacuation.
“According to what they told us, they meant that Mr. Vincent Ndanyi will pay fine of N195, 500, Mr Nwabueze Okemini= N138, 500, while Mr Chibuike Nwangwuta will pay over N130, 000.00 but we, the villagers objected the idea, and to show how mean these accused persons are, they even served me, my secretary and the youth leader letters urging us to appear before the same shrine at Okija.
“But with my belief as a Christian, I cannot honour such evil invitation rather, if there is problem among us, we can resolve it instead involving charms” he said.
A stakeholder, Mr. Uguru Nwedu told us that the village has not experienced peace since Mr. Samuel Uguru, the former village head was stopped from imposing himself on the people over tenure elongation and as a result the same man had reported them at the following places: Abakaliki Council headquarters, Amegu being their ancestral home and Ebonyi State Government House.
“These people are behaving as if they are under a spell or being caught up with nemesis, how could they have gone to Okija shrine over the matter that had been treated by the villagers.
“Notwithstanding, I am appealing to the government to handle the perpetrators adequately, so that other people would learn, this is my stand in this matter” he said.
Mr. Joseph Okekwe claimed that the same set of persons being Mr. Okechukwu Nwangwuta and others had dealt severely to the villagers, as they had in the time past arrested some persons arbitrarily in several occasions but because of the peaceful disposition of the present leaders , they were forgiven and accommodated.
“These people have sued the rest villagers to court but immediately they found out that they could not defend their claims, they abandoned the case half way.
“They do sell people’s pieces of land without considering the implication of re-selling those properties without the owners’ consent, it is as a result of their desperate ambition to clinch on power that they sued a large number of persons to their so called shrine, hoping that the people would die neglecting the fact that God is greater than their evil plan” he said.
Architect Henry Onyebuchi Nwangwuta, the youth leader of the area condemned the act and expressed total support to the village head, Chief Edigbo whom he said had taken the footstep of Governor Umahi’s administrative pattern.
“We, the youths were not happy over the act but after we have seen that many parts of Ebonyi State are undergoing one form of crisis or another, we decided to let go, so that the village will continue to experience peace” he said.
The youth president further advised the village head to hold firmly unto the Most High God through whom the plans of Mr. Okechukwu Nwangwuta, Mr. Samuel Emeka Uguru and others were revealed.
“I have already assured Hon. Edigbo that our youths will always be around him, while our obligations towards his leadership cannot be stopped by anyone” he said.
He alleged that in spite of the issue of charms already on ground that Mr. Uguru had recently directed some men numbering over 60 who invaded the village and began to cause problem before the people were repelled by the youths.
“Around 1984, Mr. Nwambam Ogharu and Nwankwuda Odii jointly bought a piece of land from late Ngwuta Aleke but surprisingly nowadays Mr. Okechukwu Nwangwuta wanted to revoke the transaction which was made under peaceful condition by his father.
“The villagers, after hearing the matter passed verdict in favour of Mr. Emmanuel Odii, who inherited an undeveloped portion from his father, Late Nwankwuda and besides this mild incident, nothing else had happened between Mr. Okechukwu and other members of the village that could make him to consult oracles to eliminate our people” he explained.
Comrade Ethelbert Osuaka, the secretary of the area told us that the problem was caused by the desperate move of Mr. Okechukwu Nwangwuta to disposes Mr. Emmanuel Odii of his inherited piece of land but the villagers having seen the truth over the matter ruled in favour of Mr. Emmanuel but the former instead of him to accept the verdict in good fate, he decided to kill most of the people who stood for truth during the deliberation.
“Mr. Okechukwu had disturbed the entire village in several occasions over the issue, he had brought various members of law enforcement agencies who came and molested some of us unjustifiably.
“But because of our full support to the village head, none of us has relented in telling the truth” he said.
“After Abakaliki Council chairman and elderly people from our ancestral home had deliberated in the matter and made pronouncement that Mr. Okechukwu should leave the contentious land suddenly, he started making trouble with the villagers.
“What annoys me most is that Mr. Samuel Emeka Uguru, the immediate past village head had condescend so low to the extent of becoming a thorn in the flesh of his own people.
“But in spite of the troublesome nature of these people, still we have been dealing with them as brothers and instead of them to have a rethink, they further sued most of us to the shrine in Anambra State mainly to silent us.
“This act is a sacrilege in our home because a similar action has not been heard in any part of the community, in short it is an evil and the perpetrators ought not to be found in our amidst any longer but because of the compassionate nature of Hon. Edigbo, the situation was eventually brought to normalcy” he said.
He further appealed that the detractors should leave Hon. Edigbo and members of his cabinet undisturbed to rule the people in accordance with the number of years as specified in their constitution while urging the government to discipline the offenders appropriately.
Mr. Chibuike Nwangwuta, one of the supposed victims expressed displeasure over the development and pointed out that he had not in any way offended Mr. Okechukwu and his cohorts that he could be summoned at the devilish altar.
He added that after he had seen the fetish item, he went and complained to his church members who hurriedly joined him to his house and evacuated the rubbish after offering serious prayer to God.
“I have also intimated so many persons who can serve as my witnesses whenever the matter goes to a high level even as I am speaking now, the charm has been taken away by my pastor and other Christian faithful.
“We equally discovered that before now both Mr. Samuel and Okechukwu had already taken an oath at the same shrine where they agreed that the latter would succeed the immediate past village head once his tenure elapsed but to the disappointment of the duo, the villagers chose Hon. Edigbo against their secret plan.
“And since then, they have not known peace and continued to disturb the villagers”.
Barrister Ununu Sunday Uguru, Attorney and Solicitor of the area described the act as unthinkable based on the fact that someone who does not have a good case could have the mind to summon his own people to the shrine in far away, Okija in Anambra State.
“The present village head in the person of Hon Sunday Edigbo has the support of all the people of the area except Mr. Samuel Uguru and his cohorts and surprisingly this few persons have been disturbing the village.
“They had conspired and continued entering people’s land forcefully even when they know fully that the act is a crime but the villagers had said No! to such.
“It is wrong to resell a piece of land which someone else has bought so many years ago but Mr. Okechukwu Nwangwuta, in his selfish interest is now struggling over the piece of land which his father had sold around 1982.
“Around 2018, he came up with the contest but the villagers said that the transaction cannot be reverted, after Mr Okechukwu and his group had seen the stand of the villagers over the matter, they decided to kill the stakeholders with charms which they obtained from Okija in Ihiala LGA of Anambra State.
“As their lawyer, I was called upon and I quickly told them to report the matter to the police and the village respected the directive, immediately arrest was made.
“Planting charm for people is a criminal act too and the people have been advised to follow the issue legally” he said.
He also advised the people that whenever they set their eyes on any of the fleeing accused persons that they should arrest the person and call on the police for re-arrest.
“Whoever that should come to kick against what the villagers have agreed upon, the person is looking for trouble, since the people have chosen Hon. Edigbo as their leader, so be it, once the villagers have spoken, nobody should stand on their way and I will ensure that justice is obtained in this matter” he affirmed.
The principal accused person, Mr Okechukwu Nwangwuta when contacted on phone, told our reporter that the allegations leveled against him by the people were not true, adding that he would have brought his own version, if he had not been on journey.
“Those people are talking rubbish, I’m supposed to give you my own side of the story, but I’m not in town, as soon I come back from journey, I will bring it to you. In fact, I have already told my Lawyer to prepare the report.”
Similarly, Mr Samuel Emeka Uguru, another accused person told us through phone call, that he was not in the town as at the time of filing the report but also assured to provide our office with his own version whenever he comes back from journey. Our effort to get Police reaction over the incident was futile as at the time of filing this report.Follow us