Historical facts behind Idumuje Ugboko palace coup

BY Hezy  Odoh

Historically, Idumuje people who are part of Idumuje clan in Aniocha North L/G.A. Delta State trace their roots to ancient Bini kingdom, just like most of Ezechima and Odiani people that left Benin in the 18th century.

Idumuje Unor and Idumuje Ugboko are one people that settled in different locations. They share boundaries with towns like Igbodo in Ika North East LGA, Onicha Ugbo and Ugbodu,in Aniocha North LGA and Ewohinmi in Edo State.

They belong to the Igboid linguistic group, but their political power structure, institutions and practices; draw largely from the ancient Bini kingdom.

Agriculture was their major preoccupation, but over time, commerce and other crafts as well as blue collar jobs, professional training, etc, have become part of the transformation that came with access to education and exposure to other civilisations.

Idumuje Ugboko is the epicenter of this analysis and it must be said that to understand a people one must look at their history, mores, social and interpersonal relationship, religion, culture and other values that inform their world views.

Hence they say that those who ignore the lessons of history would repeat its tragedy.
A lot of half truths and misleading facts are been fed to the public through a media team whose mandate is to propagate false hood.

To understand the unfolding events, it is important to follow the historical trajectory of the hidden discontent and structures in the Royal family and the Idumuje Ugboko before the death of the king.

The Royal family in Idumuje Ugboko is among the ten largest in the world. Idumuje-Ugboko which is some four kilometers away from her sister community Idumuje-Uno was founded by a large number of people who migrated Idumuje-Uno as a result of a quarrel on the Odogwu traditional chieftaincy title as it where then at Idumuje. This exodus was led by Nwoko a candidate for the Odogwu chieftaincy title who later became the first Obi of Idumuje-Ugboko.

What is happening in Idumuje Ugboko kingdom today has all the trappings of a palace coup d’état and the two surviving widows of the late monarch are not hiding their views about the bizarre event.
They have written a petition to the Inspect General of Police, demanding for an autopsy of the late monarch whom they claimed was strangled to death. and the IGP has directed that an autopsy should be carried out on the late king.

At the time of this report, a petition was written to the Assistant Inspector General of Police zone 5 in Benin city to enforce a warrant of arrest which has been issued against Prince Nonso Nwoko is battling over five criminal cases.

Bench Warrants of Arrest has been ordered against Prince Justin Chukwunonso Nwoko in the stated charge no: CMA/420C/2016 and CHARGE NO: MUO/5C/2016 since March, 2017 and renewed on 29th June, 2017.

It is a fact that when the case came up for continuation of hearing on 29th June, 2017, the Police Prosecution Counsel who at the sitting of the court on 31st May, 2017 had applied for an order of the court which was granted by the court in (charge no: CMA/420C/2016) to enable the police verify the medical certificate from the Hospital Management Board, Owa-Oyibo tendered by Prince Barr.

Mbanefo Nwoko (Counsel to the Accused) as reason for the first accused absence in court, tendered before the court a disclaimer of the medical report from Hospital Management Board, Owa-Oyibo which was tendered on behalf of Prince Nwoko who was absent in court on 31st May, 2017 by the counsel.

The Chief Magistrate in his ruling on 29th June, 2017, ordered the police to investigate the said medical report from Hospital Management Board, Owa-Oyibo with a view to unraveling those behind it.

The medical report is alleged to have been forged. So far, Nwoko has used the excuse that he is mourning the death of his father to avoid responding to the police invitations. A conviction on any of them could disqualify him from the kingship aspiration.

The move to drag the star university project into the kingship tussle is only a ploy to exploit the emotive content associated with land matters to garner support for his schemes and divert attention from real problems that are rooted in history, culture and destiny of the people.

As stated above, there are historical and socio-cultural issues associated with who becomes the next monarch in Idumuje Ugboko after the demise of the last monarch. Before his exit, there were deep crisis in the Royal family as reflected in a position paper presented by Prince Dan. O. Nwoko, to the inaugural meeting of the Umu Obi Omorhusi Executive Council in the Royal Palace on April 6, 2016, in Idumuje Ugboko.

Some of the issues raised centered on lack of respect for senior members of the Royal family, exhibition of acts of indiscipline and unbridled ambition, disregard for traditional and protocols, usurpation of the functions of the monarch and the concept of primogeniture in Idumuje Ugboko kingdom.

Prince Dan O. Nwoko raised issues concerning primogeniture, qualifications and eligibility of the presumed Crown Prince eventually qualifying to exercise his birthday right. In other words, “the term Crown is a floating term as it hovers over whosoever is tagged the ‘Crown Prince’, until it crystallizes and rests on his head that is when he is put on the throne.”

Therefore, it can be frustrated under unwritten customs and laws. Such frustration can take place under the following circumstances: If the Crown Prince is pre-deceased the reigning monarch; If the Crown Prince is of unsound mind and is incapable of knowing or understanding what he is doing. No one will have an idiot as a king; and if he is arraigned before a court of competent jurisdiction of criminal offence, found guilty, sentenced and or fined. Certainly, no one will like to crown a criminal or ex-convict as a king.

This has three dimensional phases taboo stage, tragic stage and tragedy stage. The three stages must be completed, before action can be taken for the ambulatory (floating) crown to continue its movement and search for the right person.

The tradition of Idumuje Ugboko allowed the period of regency from 1955 to 1981 when departed HRM Obi Albert Nwoko, III, Ph.D, MON, JP was crowned the Obi of Idumuje-Ugboko.
Even though it is an established tradition that to be crowned king, both parents of the Crown Prince must be bonafide indigenes of Idumuje-Ugboko, in this case, mother of Prince Nonso Justin Nwoko hails from Ubulu-Uku in Aniocha South Local government. His own wife and mother of his children hail from Anambra state.

There are two contenders to the throne, who Prince Justin Chukwunonso Nwoko, whose mother is from Ubulu-Uku, been one, and Prince Uche Stephen Nwoko, a son of a woman who hail from Idumuje-Ugboko.

Royal watchers assert that right from the first monarch, HRM Obi Nwoko I, his first son, Prince Omoje never ascended the throne because his mother was from neighbouring and sister town Idumuje – Unor. The crown went to Prince Omorhusi Nwoko, Prince Omoje s first son whose mother hailed from Ogbe-Ofu village.

When Obi Omorhusi died, his first son Prince Justin Nkeze Nwoko whose mother was from Atuma village in Idumuje-Ugboko became king and known as Obi Nwoko II. When Obi Nkeze died in 1955; the issue of succession came up because the actual first son died before him.

Prince Rowland S. O. Nwoko, who showed interest, was denied because his own mother was from Idumuje-Unor. The choice fell on Prince Demas Nwoko, but declined because his wife is from Umunze in Anambra state and that disqualifies his children from succeeding him as kings.

The mother of Prince Albert Nwoko was from Ugbodu and his wife was from Ubulu Uku, these precipitated a regency period from 1955 to 1981 (26yrs). The situation became unbearable for the people. The elders and the chiefs then met and contrived a plan to make Prince Albert Nwoko the king but with a proviso that he must marry a woman from his native land whose first son would succeed him for the throne.

Even before his contrived death on February 6, 2017, the late Monarch had been held prisoner in the Palace by Prince Nonso, Prince Richard Obiajulu and Prince Ejimofor amongst others. He was made unreachable and rendered incommunicado by some cabals in the Palace. Not even his wives nor the chiefs could reach him yet he was not in poor health.

The crown prince took over the administration of the kingdom, issuing proclamation which led to the Chiefs instituting a civil case in suit No. HCI/1/16 before the State High Court Issele-Uku in March, 2016 and obtained an Injuction retraining Prince Chukwunonso and others from usurping the duties of the Chiefs. This court order he has flouted severally.

Prince Dan O Nwoko warn him in his Position paper of April 2, 2016, cited earlier in this article. According to the tradition of Idumuje Ugboko, a Crown Prince does not participate in the administration of the kingdom while the father is alive. In one of such Court matters, Prince Edwin Nwoko deposed to an affidavit discontinuing with the matter claiming that they were acting without authority of the king or the family at large.

The Iyase of Idumuje Ugboko, Chief Chris Ogwu, the Odogwu Chief Sunday Edemodu, the Chairman of the Land Allocation Committee, Chief Kennedy Illoh, members of the Onotu amongst others participated in the Izu-Ani where the application for the allocation of the land for the Star University project have all become victims of acts of vandalism, arson and threat to their lives.

These issues have not been resolved and could not be resolved by evoking emotions on issues that are already in court of law. Some of these excesses have been afoot in the past four years when the Crown Prince relocated from Lagos to Asaba, as he claimed, to monitor the events in the kingdom..

The issue of acquisition of land and payment of compensation to the farmers has been in Court in the past two years. The process of ascending the throne in towns within Aniocha North is duly recognised by the Council of Traditional Rulers and the Delta State Government, it would be a bad precedence to allow a palace coup and usurpation of the kingship throne in Idumuje Ugboko to succeed no matter how persuasive the propaganda may seem, the rule of law must prevail above the rule of the jungle and brute force.

Assertion from the publication is that of the author, Ugbaja, who wrote from Lagos

Qatar supposedly committed crime and GCC crisis in recent years

By Disu Kamor

It’s time the Muslim world firmly and sincerely tells Saudi Arabia to end it’s tacit supports for Israel and the occupation of expropriated Palestinian lands. If Qatar is guilty of supporting terrorism by supporting Hamas (Hamas came to existence solely as a result of the Israeli occupation), then Saudi Arabia is guilty of much worse crimes in its support of various violent groups in the region; of sponsoring Iraq’s Saddam in the 80s during his war against Iran with a resultant of one million causalities on both sides (within 8 years); it’s supports and funding of a UN sanction programme in Iraq in which between 400,000 to 500,000 children of under 5 died (a programme that clearly meets the definition of genocide.

Denis Halliday, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq during the same period was so enraged by the consequences of the sanctions he had to resign from UN, after a 34-year career, in order to gain the freedom to criticise UN. Not Saudi Arabia which was ready to starve a whole population to death to depose a man it helped impose on Iraq. A man Saudi Arabia used to try and destroy Iran).

The same type of travesty is going on in Yemen as we speak, where heaps of dead and starving bodies are resulting from a carnage being inflicted on poor Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition. Saudi Arabia evidently has no remorse about it’s sordid track records and roles in helping to decimate these populations nor for it’s supports for tyrants at different times, starting from Idi Amin to modern day despots.

Through its immoral meddling in Bahrain and Yemen, it’s fueling of the raging conflagration in Syria, its pumping out to the Muslim world violent and divisive ideologies (although Sunni Muslims make up between 80% and 90% of the global Muslim population, a staggering 94% of all acts of terrorism attributable to Muslims are committed by Sunni Muslims due largely to the type of extreme ideologies and funds flowing out if the Gulf States, Qatar included), and with the Faustian Pact it’s signed with those whose only intent is to suppressed and ruin the Muslim world are all part of its blemishes.

Evidently, the Saudi Arabian regime is a tragedy that has afflicted the Muslim world from the onset and a major dis-stabilisation force in the entire region.

In a move that looks like an attempt to heed Mr Trump’s impassioned appeal in Riyadh to “drive out” terrorists, Saudi Arabia coordinated its decision to sever diplomatic ties with Qatar with Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, with the decision of Qatar to welcome Hamas, which Washington brands a terrorist group, as one of its primary demands.

But if Saudi Arabia is mad with Hamas because of Hamas’ use of violent methods in the past, including some widely considered to be reprehensible and unIslamic (e.g. suicide bombing), Saudi Arabia must first turn its war on anti-terrorism gun against itself to make any meaningful sense of the Saudi-bloc’s schoolyard sermons on terror. 15 of the 19 alleged 9-11 hijackers were Saudi citizens, and so was Osama Bin Laden, the leader of the Al Qaeda terrorist group.

In fact almost all the groups that Saudi Arabia funds and sponsors in all its proxy wars use such methods and not surprisingly, they all continue to get their bills written off by Riyadh. The UK government has blatantly refused, despite repeated calls by opposition leaders in the UK Parliament, to release the Home Office report of an investigation into the source of funding for acts of terrorism perpetrated in the UK, a report that indicts Saudi Arabia.

Prime Minister Theresa May, even in the light of the horrific attacks in Manchester and London has flatly refused to release the report of the investigation, calling the report ‘sensitive’. Obviously, Saudi Arabia does not only use its petrodollars to buy weapons from the British government, it has also bought the British Government’s silence.

Egyptian despotic ruler, President Al Sissi, during the rule of the last monarch, got a huge cheque for overthrowing President Morsi, a democratically elected government. The late king awarded the handsome bounty to Sissi for getting rid of a democratically elected government. In fact Hamas’ only crime is that it has refused to become subservient to the Saudi monarchy and towed it’s unconscionable line.

Saudi Arabia needs to stop behaving like a petty bully that it is and stop employing crude methods and (outsource) violence to suppress it’s neighbours, wanting to force them into submission and a feeble alliance in its unpopular wars and to amplify it’s schizophrenic outbursts against Iran.

In a nursery school rhyme, Saudi government lectured the rest of the Muslim world during President Trump’s visit on the need to end the propagation of extreme ideology that fuels violence. But conveniently, it forgot to add it would commit to switch off its own extreme and sectarian ideology that has seeped into the blood circulation of almost all Sunni extremist and sectarian preachers and violent groups such as ISIS, Boko Haram, Taliban.

Last month, Russian hackers (according to FBI and an independent Qatari investigation) published false remarks attributed to Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on QNA platforms. The fake report said Sheikh Tamim, in a speech at a military graduation ceremony, was critical of renewed tensions with Iran, expressed the need for contextualising Hezbollah and Hamas as resistance movements, and suggested US President Donald Trump might not last long in power.

The hackers targeted the Qatari News Agency and all its social media platforms to release the fake report and the only news channels which, without any sort of verification, breathlessly broadcast these fake reports to the world were those of Saudi Arabia and UAE. It is not difficult to see that there was a ploy to discredit the Qatari leaders and enrage the Muslim world on one hand, and President Trump on the other, against it.

Descending below the ridiculous, the Saudi-bloc has designated as terrorists dozens of people with alleged links to Qatar and closed their airspaces to Qatar, and Qatari citizens. One of those designated as terrorist is Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi- an erudite theologian who is claimed to have an affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood. Shaykh Qaradawi, as early as 1997 had stated categorically that he was not a member of the Brotherhood. Earlier in his life Qaradawi was jailed three times for his relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood and subsequently stripped of his Egyptian citizenship in the 1970s–driving him to seek exile in Qatar.

Similarly in November 2014, UAE government designated major organisations that actually represent the Muslims in Norway, the UK and US as terrorist organisations (including Muslim Council of Britain, Islamic Relief, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society). In fact the Norway’s foreign ministry found the designation so shocking and bizarre it publicly requested an explanation as to why one of the country’s largest Islamic groups could be so designated.

The only beneficiary from the crisis that Saudi Arabia and its GCC allies have created seems to be Israel. Israeli leaders have been exploiting Saudi Arabia actions and words to further demonise Iran, its archenemy, and hope the focus on the crisis will eclipse concerns about the Palestinian cause.

Saudi Arabia is undoubtedly helping Israel perpetuate its grip on expropriated Palestinian lands and throwing the main resistant group in Gaza, Hamas, under the bus. Of course, the Saudi monarchy may continue to play the Russian roulette with Donald Trump (since Donald Trump and the Russians.

it seems, have a thing together) and Nethanyahu, it should at least have the decency to not pretend it’s actions and belly dancing have any legitimacy and supports in the Muslim world. It is not getting clearer that what is great about Saudi Arabia are in Makkah and Madina, surely not in Riyadh.

 Kamor is Executive Chairman of Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) Nigeria.

Are we really #NotYoungToRun

By Titilope T. Anifowoshe

In November 2015, my class constituted a committee of close to 10 persons to organize a befitting schedule and project for our graduating set. We were made to contribute #8000 each and up till this moment all we got was a substandard customized T.Shirt, a statue dedicated to faculty of #Law , Unilorin and an excursion to ile-ife, Osun State (whose expenses was largely donated by members of the class outside the 8K) .

Even after graduation we are yet to get our Final year book or an account of our money…. The report of the panel setup to probe the found is that the “money for the final year-book was a scam” and that 3 of the committee members embezzled the cash!

Are we really #NotTooYoungToRun ?

Here in #NLSLagos the #500,000 disbursed by the plateau state government for bursary of Law student was misappropriated by few persons.

Are we really #NotTooYoungToScam ?

In #NLSAbuja students of IMO state were made to pay #500 each to facilitate the disbursement of their bursary and till this moment they have not heard anything about their bursary or their #500

Students of #Kwara State have for 4 years been deprived of their bursary simply because of the harebrained student leaders who survive solely from the suborner they get from the Kwara state government .

Are we really #NotTooYoungToRun ?

Indeed the glitz and glamour of political offices is huge enough to make a person spend his lifetime planning and orchestrating his way to the government house or senate.

I remember how in 2015, one anorexic senator of National Association of Kwara State students with very a muddled command of vocabulary vaunted about his plans to be the governor of Kwara state in the future. Today he doubles as the SRC chairperson of Kwara State University and the Chairman of NANS/JCC Kwara and the only thing his administration has been able to do is “commend , extol and appreciate” dignitaries through open letters and votes of confidence without any viable and visible long or short term developmental projects for Kwara Students.

Have you ever met a young man who aspires to hold any political position ? Have you ever met a young entrepreneur? Can you spot the differences between their ideology and reasoning ?

An entrepreneur believes so much in his handwork and hard-work while a student politician believes so much in his influence and ambition. An entrepreneur reveres innovations and topnotch business ideas while.
A student politician reveres his political Godfathers and their success.

An entrepreneur prays for a stable and flourishing economy while a student politician prays for wealth for the purpose of getting the love of his constituency.

An entrepreneur rarely spend above his earnings because every kobo is business to him but a student politician cares less of how much he spends so far he gets the required adoration of his constituency.

An entrepreneur is always opened to learning new things that will aid his venture but a student politician only aims to get the commendation of his revered RoleModel.

How many student politician doubles as an entrepreneur character?

If the #NotTooYoungToRun bill becomes law a person of 30 years of age will be able to contest for the exalted office of president, senator or governor of a state ; and a 25 year old person can freely become a honorable member of the House or Representative or State House of Assembly . The #NotTooYoungToRun bill also seek for independent candidacy in our electioneering process.
Indeed such Constitutional amendment is going to provide a benchmark of an inclusive, competitive , modern, radical and rugged political system.
The green light is very crystal for this bill but are we really ready to #Rule and #Run ?

Anifowoshe, #LegalEagle, is an aspirant at Nigerian Law School, Abuja.