According to a report by Punch Metro, suspected Fulani herdsmen have reportedly abducted the traditional ruler of Ogodor Kingdom in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, HRM, Obi Sunday Olisewokwu.
It was gathered that the monarch was ambushed by the arms-wielding herdsmen around Ezi and Onicha-Olona communities on Sunday evening.
According to family sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, the monarch, who is the Chairman of Aniocha Traditional Rulers Committee, was abducted at the around June 4th 2018 around 4:20pm in the evening on his way from an event at Ugbodu and whisked to an unknown destination.
It was further gathered that the kidnap is not unconnected with the stance of the monarch on the lingering Idumuje Ugboko royal dispute in Aniocha North Local Government Area.
Reports have it that the obi along with other traditional rulers in Aniocha North have insisted that due process based on established traditional norms must be followed in the face of several court cases on the issue of eligibility of one Nonso Nwoko to ascend the throne of the Obi of Idumuje Ugboko.
The kidnapped monarch had, in a letter addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Directorate of Chieftaincy Affairs, Deputy Governor’s Office in Asaba, on behalf of Aniocha North kings, dated May 3,2018 and titled ” RE -APPOINTMENT OF PRINCE JUSTIN OREZE CHUKWUNONSO NWOKO AS THE OBI OF IDUMUJE UGBOKO KINGDOM,” warned that non adherence to established procedure in crowning a new Obi could ” lead to mayhem ” and unprecedented violence in Idumuje Ugboko.
In the letter signed by the Obi of Ogodor and the Secretary of Aniocha North Traditional Rulers Committee , Mr. Nwaokolo Louis , the traditional rulers noted that beyond customary guidelines for royal ascension,” there are many court cases challenging the enthronement of Nonso Nwoko of which the Aniocha North Traditional Rulers Committee is a party.”
There are reports that the brother of prince Nonso Nwoko, one Barr. Mbanifo Nwoko, had made several telephone calls and also written to threaten the Traditional Rulers in Aniocha North LGA in a bid to force the monarchs to give consent or approval for the ascension of Nonso Nwoko to the throne as Obi of Idumuje Ugboko.
On Friday June 1, 2018, the said Barr. Nbanifo Nwoko is said to have refused service of a court of Appeal process seeking an injunction restraining the enthronement of Nonso Nwoko as the Obi of Idumuje Ugboko. The whole scenario, according to a source at Idumuje Ugboko smacked of desperation to ensure that Nonso Nwoko ascends the throne as Obi without regards to due process and the law.
Only Last month, crisis erupted at Idumuje Ugboko following a controversial visit by the Senator representing Delta North, Peter Nwaoboshi, to Nonso Nwoko where he reportedly received “royal blessings” from Nonso Nwoko on behalf of the Idumuje Ugboko people, in his quest to return to the Red Chambers come 2019.
But the Iyase of Idumuje Ugboko community, Chief Chris Ogwu, in a swift reaction said there has been no installation of any Obi to succeed the late Obi, Albert Nwoko, who joined his ancestors two years ago.
Chief Ogwu countered that the visit is misleading and uncalled for , as it is on record that nobody has been recognized or gazetteer by the Delta state government either in verbal pronouncement or presentation of staff of office as Obi of Idumuje Ugboko.
At the time of filing this report, the kidnappers had yet to contact either members of the royal family or the Obi-in-Council comprising traditional chiefs of the kingdom for any ransom.
When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Andrew Aniamaka, who neither denied nor confirmed the incident, pleaded for more time to provide details.
He had yet to call back at the time of filing this report.
However, a senior police officer at the State Police Command confirmed the kidnap, saying that Police authorities in the state and other heads of security agencies are currently holding meetings with some government officials on how to rescue the monarch.