Shame: Enugu Monarch Faces Prosecution Over StealingFeatured, Latest News, News From The State Thursday, March 6th, 2014
Ignatius Okpara, Enugu
Igwe Remigius Nwodo, the traditional Ruler of Obollo Orie Autonomous community in Udenu council area of Enugu State, was on Wednesday arraigned before an Obollo-Afor Magistrate court for allegedly defrauding some members of his community.
The 79-year-old monarch was arraigned on two count charges for allegedly stealing the sum of N312, 000.00 between January and December 2008 under false pretence that he opened a FADAMA co-operative society account for some members of his community.
The charges read thus:
“That you HRH Igwe Remigius Nwodo between the month of January and December 2008 at Obollo Orie Autonomous Community in Udenu Magisterial District did by false pretence and with intent to defraud obtain from Andrew Eze, Okafor Remigius, Odo Evaristus, Hon. Gregory Odo, Fedelia Onah, Ozioko Amarekie, Omemal Fred and others” “The sum of three hundred and twelve thousand Naira (312, 000.00) under the pretence that you had opened a bank account with ECO BANK PLC for different FADAMA co-operative societies represented by the aforesaid persons and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 386 of the Criminal Code Cap. 30, Vol. 2 Law of Enugu State of Nigeria 2004.
“That you HRH Igwe Remigius Nwodo on the same date and place in the aforesaid Magisterial District did steal the sum of three hundred and twelve thousand Naira (312, 000.00) property of Andrew Eze, Okafor Remigius, Odo Evaristus, Hon. Gregory Odo, Fedelia Onah, Ozioko Amarekie, Omemal Fred and others, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 353 (9) of the Criminal Code Cap. 30, Vol.2 Laws of Enugu State of Nigeria 2004”.
Speaking with newsmen, the prosecutor, Mr. James Ikenyi said the subject matter of the case was gross embezzlement of funds by the traditional ruler even before he became the traditional ruler of the community.
The prosecutor, accused the traditional ruler of stealing the sum N300, 000 meant for the development of women education center, which was donated by the wife of the former military governor of the old Anambra State Mrs. Akonobi.
He said the money was given to the monarch before he became the traditional ruler, adding that “when he was accosted to bring out the money by the community he came up with bravado”.
Ikenyi further explained that the traditional ruler also diverted N200, 000 earmarked for entertainment of the then Udenu Local Government Council Chairman Dr. Ignatius Eze, who was to inspect Insama Ogba road in the community, a visit that was aborted.
According to him, the accused used the FADAMA project to collect N60, 000.00 each from over 52 co-operative societies of the community on the grounds that he was going to open an account for them with ECOBANK which he never did.
“The police investigated and found it to be false, as the woman in charge of FADAMA at the local government made statement to the police that the traditional ruler had no business with FADAMA project in the area.
“The traditional ruler also used some false projects that never existed and compelled his subjects to contribute money as counterpart fund; after due investigations, it was also discovered that none of such projects existed in the community.
“What we got from the police file which was sent to us by the Attorney General was that when people complained, he will bring policemen from Obollo-Afor division to harass, arrest and detain his subjects”.
The presiding magistrate, Mrs. Vera Ajogwu later adjourned the case to April 8, 2014 for the prosecutor to reply on points of law whether he had the legal right to prosecute the matter other than the police.
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