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Anambra community banishes former lawmaker over land-grabbing

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The Nsugbe Council of Elders of Nsugbe community in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State has excommunicated Senator Obi Igbeke, polularly called Ubanesse, from all community activities till further notice.

The council accused him of engaging on actions they termed “inimical to the progress of the community”, warning that no indigene of the community should associate with him.

They also imposed a fine of N100,000 on any member of the community who associated or interacted with the senator.

The council otherwise known as ‘Ndi Eze Nsugbe’ also imposed a fine of N1 million against the senator for using security operatives to arbitrarily arrests youths who oppose him in community.

The elders, who were drawn from 10 villages that comprise Nsugbe community, passed their judgment on Wednesday.

In a meeting held at the residence of the head of all chiefs in the community, Elder Obi Paul Nwankwo, the council found the ex-Senator guilty of several allegations.

The allegations included forceful snatching of lands and arbitrary arrest of eight youths who were taken to police authorities in Awka and whose whereabouts are still unknown till date, among others.

In December, two youth leaders in Nsugbe community, identified as Chidi Akudo and Charles Obodoechina, were allegedly arrested and detained by the Anambra State Police Command on November 13, 2022, allegedly on the orders of Igbeke.

It was gathered that on Friday, hundreds of women and youths from Nnadi Nsugbe community, protested against the arbitrary detention of their sons by the Nigeria Police Force.

Nwankwo, who announced the decision of the council, said, “That Senator Ubanesse abducted and locked two of our sons in police custody since November 13, 2022 till January 17, 2023.

“We (Council of Elders) pleaded with Ubanesse to release those boys.

“That Ubanesse promised that he would release the boys because they committed no offence, but he didn’t fulfill his promises.

“That even when we went to the State CID, Awka, to see if the police would respect us as elders to grant those boys bail, that Ubanesse asked the DCP state CID not to see us. That Ubanesse even boasted to them that they were lucky that the police did not lock them up.

“That this is a great insult to Nsugbe community. This is a great insult to Nsugbe Council of Elders.”

“Henceforth Senator Igbeke is hereby fined the sum of N1m. Anybody from Nsugbe community who associates himself with him will be fined N100,000.”

But in a swift reaction, the ex-Senator, dismissed the allegations as tissues of lies fabricated by few disgruntled elements in the community who are envious of his achievements.

He said at no time did he arrest any innocent youth and dumped them in police cell, masterminded their killings, nor forcefully snatched people lands as being alleged by the community.

“These envious elements have been going about the town using innocent poor members of the community to smear the good name I have acquired through the years,” he added.

 

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