The Obi of Ogwashi-Uku HRM Obi Ifechukwude Aninshi Okonjo II has lauded the Inspector General of Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba, for directing the Commissioner of Police in Delta State to do a thorough investigation into an attempt to assassinate him in Otulu Ogwashi-Uku by suspected cultists and hired thugs.
Recalled that on September 18 2021, the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku, Obi Ifechukwude Aninshi Okonjo II visited Otulu Ogwashi-Uku, a farming settlement area in his Kingdom to meet with the residents and offer prayers with members of the community when the incident happened.
A statement from the palace said, “Obi Ifechukwude Aninshi Okonjo II was accompanied on this visit by senior Chiefs from his Obi in Council, members of the press corps, officers from the office of the Area Commander Ogwashi-Uku, some soldiers from the Asaba Brigade Command, Ogwashi-Uku vigilante services and at least 50 other members of the Ogwashi-Uku community including the head of the Ogwashi-Uku Development Association home branch.
“After the visit and prayers when the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku was turning around to return back to his Palace, cultists, hired killers, thugs barricaded the road with logs and burning tires and refused to permit the Obi and his 30 car entourage to return.
“They burnt five cars, attacked the military officers and members of the Obi’s entourage in an attempt to assassinate the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku. In the process of the attack one Cletus Opara who was one of the people who attacked the convoy lost his life.
“These cultists then proceeded to kidnap members of the Obi’s entourage, wounded those they held hostage all over their bodies and left them to die. It was a result of the combined effort of the military and police that they were eventually rescued and rushed to the hospital for treatment after sustaining serious injuries which would have resulted in their death.”
Further to this, the Palace Secretary, Prince Ifeakanachukwu Emordi, also alleged that the people who attacked the Obi were apparently very well known to the police in Delta State and also by the Police headquarters in Abuja.
He claimed that “these were the same people who attacked a newly installed Chief Onyema Igbokei last year (2020) in an attempt to murder him so they could continue to sell community land illegally in the Edo Ogwashi-Uku and Otulu Ogwashi-Uku areas.”
According to Prince Ifeakanachukwu Emordi, “these same people were charged with attempted murder based on an investigation conducted by the Inspector Generals Monitoring Unit last year.”
He also stated that the deceased, Mr Cletus Opara, “was one of the people investigated in last years attempted murder case and was facing charges in Ogwashi-Uku as a result of that investigation.”
He also stated that the Delta State Police commissioner had declared some of these cultists wanted just a few months ago, adding that, “in May, 2021 these people were responsible for the death of an Assistant Superintendent of Police who was killed around Otulu.”
He stressed the need for the police to do a thorough investigation and not only identify all the people behind the attempt to assassinate the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku but also their sponsors.
The Palace Secretary urged members of the Ogwashi-Uku community who had vowed to respond to the attack on their ruler to remain calm and allow the police to complete their investigation.
Addressing thousands of youth and members of the Ogwashi-Uku community who came to pay the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku a solidarity visit during the commencement of the annual Inne Festival, the Palace Secretary said that a full report on the incident had been submitted to the Delta State government and also the relevant security agencies.
He urged community members not to take the law into their hands but to assist the police in their investigations so that the Otulu Ogwashi-Uku issue could be dealt with comprehensively.
The Secretary reinstated “the commitment by the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku not to permit Otulu Ogwashi-Uku to become a den and hideout of criminals who funded their activities by illegally selling Ogwashi-Uku communal lands.”
The Palace Secretary also stated that the land speculator who had been showing interest in Otulu land had been identified and urged the speculator to cease giving money to the criminals who attacked the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku.
On the claimed that the the Obi in Council and State government would be fully briefed on this in due course, the Palace secretary reminded buyers of Ogwashi-Uku land that all land in Ogwashi-Uku was vested on the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku who is the Overlord, Trustee and Custodian of all Ogwashi-Uku communal land.