IDUMUJE-UGBOKO: AFTERMATH OF THE OWA PEACE ACCORD.

Ned Nwoko.

It will be vividly recalled that there has been lingering disputes relating to the civil litigation in Idumuje-Ugboko Kingdom and those disputes relate mainly to two disturbing issues namely: -


a. Large expanse of land acquired by Hon. Ned Nwoko, an indigene of Idumuje-Ugboko Kingdom on which land he is currently building and developing a Sports University with several buildings at different stages of completion.

b. The issue of whether Prince Chukwunonso Nwoko can ascend to the throne of Idumuje-Ugboko as a matter of right and whether or not he is qualified to ascend to that throne.

To the above stated ends, several suits were filed in court and they include:

1. Suit No. AG/1M/2019

2. Suit No. AG/2M/2019

3. Suit No. AG/3M/2019

4. Suit No. A/36/2017

5. Suit No. HCK/61/2018

6. Suit No. HCI/25/2019

7. Suit No. HCI/23/2019

8. CA/B/220/2018

In Suit No HCK/61/2018 the High Court of Justice, Kwale Judicial Division issued an order of injunction restraining Delta Sate government from recognizing Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko as King and from handing any staff of office to him. That suit also restrained Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko from ostracizing any person from the community/kingdom. That particular case is still pending till date.

Following that state of affairs, the well-meaning Kings (Obi) in Delta North especially in Aniocha and Ika decided to convene a peace meeting to chart the way forward on how to resolve impasse between the parties.

To that end, meetings were convened at the Palace of the Obi of Owa Kingdom who heartily received both Prince Ned Nwoko and Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko as his sons and prayed that peace should return to the community as quickly as possible, he told the gathering that he enjoyed a warm relationship with the departed Obi Albert Nwoko which he prayed would continue in the reign of his successor.

At the end of that meeting, a communique was signed which was made public and it enjoined the disputing parties to WITHDRAW all pending Court cases related to land dispute or the throne and that the matter will be amicably settled.

Immediately after that meeting the lawyers representing the parties met in Benin-City and it was the lawyer of Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko who came up with the idea that he would not withdraw the land case challenging the right of Prince Ned Nwoko in the community to build the Sports University on the land. Lawyers to Prince Ned Nwoko immediately objected and notified him that the agreement from the Palace as expressed in the communique is that all cases should immediately be WITHRAWN.

This position taken by lawyer to Prince Nonso Chukwunonso Justin led to a second meeting at the Palace where progress of the steps taken were reviewed, it was again agreed that since the land case was initiated in the name of Obi Albert Nwoko III who has joined the ancestors, the suit should be left like that without any person trying to resuscitate it.

Mr. Uzor Uzor a native of Idumuje-Ugboko resident in Warri, called a meeting at his residence in Warri where a summary of the position was looked into. Lawyer to Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nowko repeated his position concerning the land case. Mr. Uzor Uzor told him in categorical terms that he has his personal land running into Acres in the area in question and thatt is left to him to decide if he would go into discussion/negotiation with Prince Ned Nwoko on whether to transfer his land to him or not. Nwulu Ogugwa and his brother who were present told Prince Chukwunonso’s Lawyer that they are Owu people and that some the land in question belongs to individual families in Owu.

Again, it was reiterated that the refusal of the lawyer to withdraw the land case meant that Ned Nwoko who had also withdrawn some of the suits was also to leave one suit pending, which is Suit No. HCK/61/2018 where the court had issued an injunction restraining the Delta State Government from issuing of staff of office to Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko and also restraining him from ostracizing any person from the community.

It should be stated with emphasis that part of the resolutions reached at Owa was that all estranged chiefs in the Kingdom should be allowed to resume their offices and traditional roles in the Kingdom, yet, till date, almost four months or more after that resolution, Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko has deliberately refused to comply that decision. Again, Prince Chukwunonso Justin purported to ostracize the people who attended the burial ceremony of the oldest man in the Royal Family, Prince Onwuamaonyukwu simply because he was a key witness in the case against him. If the resolutions at Owa were complied with strictly, that case would also be resolved peacefully. However, it must be stated that Prince Ned Nwoko has nothing to do with the particular case, that suit was initiated by Prince Solomon Nwabwuokei Nwoko. It must be stated with emphasis that part of the orders made by the High Court in HCK/61/2018 is an order restraining Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko from ostracizing any person in the Idumuje-Ugboko Kingdom.

The only other issue left was the issue of the criminal charge pending at the Federal High Court at Abuja. It must be stated with emphasis that the prosecution which resulted from the murder of an individual and arson within the community is being prosecuted by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and it is only that office that can withdraw that
charge. It was agreed that effort should be made in that direction until Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko and his lawyer began to renege on some of the agreements reached at Owa.

Unfortunately, that matter has now been held up by the lockdown which is a fall of the Covid 19 global pandemic.

Again, it has come to our knowledge that Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko and his cohorts have engaged the services of certain individuals to blackmail and denigrate the name of Prince Ned Nwoko by making spurious and unfounded allegations against Prince Nwoko regarding the criminal charge at Abuja. It must be stated that in line with the resolution at Owa, the Prosecution did not oppose the application for bail of the accused persons which is a rare gesture and it is left for the those granted bail to go and perfect their bail conditions.

It must be stated with emphasis that the Kings involved in the mediation process visited Idumuje-Unor and saw the victims of the 2017 violence in Idumuje Ugboko, this visit took place in February, 2020. Till date Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko and his cohorts have not made any effort to pacify the said victims, even when the Royal Fathers, after assessing, the situation has insisted that if there are no genuine peace efforts, and compensation of the victims, the prosecution of the suspects/accused persons should go on.

It is therefore totally false to claim that: -

a) There is no injunction restraining the recognizing Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko as Obi of Idumuje Ugboko, there is one in Suit No. HCK/61/2019 and this is well known to his lawyer.

b) The Charge in Abuja is criminal charge and Prince Ned Nwoko is not the prosecutor there.

c) The issue of 33.4 acres of land lawfully acquired by prince Ned Nwoko prior to this time is not in issue and that land has been effectively occupied.

d) The cases initiated from the end of Prince Ned Nwoko namely: A/36/2017 and CA/B/220/2018 have been withdrawn.

e) The only case pending is the case HCK/61/2018 which has been left since Chukwunonso Justin Nonso Nwoko has refused to withdraw the land case.

f) Till date, Prince Ned Nwoko has bought the land from the families/individuals who own those land. He is not dealing in any form or manner with Owu community land.