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Revealed: Cause Of Trouble In Delta Community, Idumuje Ugboko Laid Bare In Police Zone 5, Benin

First Bank Nigeria

On Thursday June 1, the cause and details of the recent troubles and violence in Idumuje Ugboko were spread open before AIG Adamu Abubakar in Benin.

Responding to a petition written by Barr Mbanefo Nwoko, Prince Ned Nwoko narrated the Genesis of the whole problem. He said that contrary to the false propaganda spread by Barr Mbanefo Nwoko, Chris & Uche Aligbe, Prince Chukwunonso Nwoko and others, some time in 2015, through his company, Linas International Limited, he approached late Obi Albert Nwoko for 90 hectares of land on which to build a sports and academic university, including an 18 hole international golf course.

Seeing that the requested land was quite substantial, the Obi invited the land allocation committee headed by Chief Ogwu ( Iyase) and Kennedy Iloh and others to look into the merit of the case.

After due considerations, which included issues pertaining to compensation for crops in the land, the utilisation of the land strictly for the purpose granted within five years otherwise the reverting of the land back to the community and the ceding of a substantial equity in the university to Idumuje Ugboko community , the committee recommended that the request be granted. Obi Albert duly granted permission via a letter dated April 10 2016.

With this letter Prince Ned approached Aniocha North LGA for their C of O, which was duly granted. He also sought and obtained the permission of the state government.

With these documents he proceeded to the National University Commission NUC to begin the long and difficult process of granting approval and licence for a university in Idumuje Ugboko.

After several months and more than N90million spent on environmental impact assessment, consultancy on academic, sports, infrastructure and administration, and on several visitations by NUC panels, licence was about to be granted by the NUC for the establishment and operation of the university in Idumuje Ugboko when Prince Chukwunonso Nwoko and Barr Mbanefo Nwoko petitioned the NUC to stop the development.

On the matter of the proper utilisation of the previous land allocated to him, Prince Ned said that a large part of the land where his compound is situated was bought and paid for by his late mother and part of the equally large part allocated to him by the community has now been used for the development of a massive fish pond, poultry, zoo, as well as Olympic standard tennis court and swimming pool, table tennis, snooker, five-a-side football pitch and other tourist attractions, after the 500 cows he brought into the place for the take-off of dairy farm succumbed to disease, and he was later told by people like Uche Aligbe that our climate was not conducive for cattle rearing.

Prince Ned openly posited that Barr Mbanefo Nwoko was involved throughout the process of land allocation and was the lead lawyer in the draft of the memorandum of understanding between Linas International Limited and Ugboko community. But that after he refused to give any more money to Barr Mbanefo (the barrister having taken advantage of the land request to make several extortionate demands of cash) Prince Mbanefo switched allegiance and joined forces with Prince Chukwunonso Nwoko to begin to oppose the university.

Their opposition became ominous when a letter surfaced on the 12th of August, 2016, purportedly from Obi Albert, disclaiming the allocation of land for the university. Suspecting fraud and forgery and knowing that Obi Albert could not have allocated and then not-allocated land at the same time, the mystery was reported to the police.

After a thorough investigation the police concluded that the second letter was obtained under undue influence and charged those behind the letter to court. (The police suspect that the very old Obi who had become mentally enfeebled due to advanced years was tricked or coaxed into signing the second letter without really understanding the contents)

Prince Ned Nwoko concluded that the opposition to the university by a few highly placed members of the community and royal family who call themselves ‘Elites’ was a result of envy, jealousy, pull-him-down-syndrome and his refusal to settle further extortionate demands from Barr Mbanefo who has been fanning the embers of opposition and discord in the community. He said for example, that despite the fact that his compound was probably the number one tourist location in the state, and frequently visited by many traditional rulers and others, his cousin, Prince Chukwunonso Nwoko had never ever visited after several invitations. This he regards as a sign of inexplicably deep and mysterious animosity and hostility towards him.

In his own submission, Barr Mbanefo, to the consternation of all present, willingly and openly admitted that he nurses a grudge against Ned due to the fact that Ned tried to usurp him as the senatorial candidate of a political party in the 2007 general election.

On his part, one of the issues raised by Prince Chukwunonso Nwoko was that Prince Ned had always not respected him.

Thereafter, the AIG pointed out that it seems that personal grudges had been allowed to interfere in the peace and development of the community.

The IUDU President, Okey Ifejoku on his part said he was not against the establishment of the university but wants peace and due process to be followed in the allocation of land.

Barr Mbanefo was prodded many times to state the reason for the two recent cancelled Izu-Ani were violence erupted, he strenuously dodged the issue of banishment which he had so eloquently promoted thru proxies on social media.

On the issue of actual violence against persons who support the establishment of the university, the police requested Omesiete Raymond Alex and other suspects to answer to the charges. They are still with the police at the time of writing this report.

On the issue of the rape of 14 year old daughter of Obi Albert in the palace and attempt to cover up the case, the AIG told his men to intensify efforts to arrest the main suspect so he can be brought to justice.

Prince Ned Nwoko sincerely restated that he is not a land speculator and does not need land to build up his wealth in Ugboko. He said that if he wanted to buy land to sell on in the future, he would have looked for land closer to Asaba or Abuja, Lagos and other commercially viable locations. He in fact explained that part of the reasons he wanted the university so close to his home is to be able to utilise the redundant part of the previous allocation as part of the new university.

He urges all discerning and well-meaning Ugboko indigenes to ignore the wicked propaganda of the few enemies of progress.

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