A controversial India trained lawyer, Barrister Mbanefo Nwoko who has been described as the architect and mastermind of the prolonged kingship tussle and the attendant killings in the intherto peaceful kingdom of Udumuje Ugboko in Aniocha North Local Government of Delta State was this evening arrested by men of the Nigeria Police Force.
According to information reaching us, the police arrested Mbanefo Nwoko at his secret lover’s house where he has been using as hideouts since man hunt for him began about few weeks ago.
We gathered that Mbanefo was picked up in Auchi in Edo State by security forces after ignoring several ivites by the police.
Barrister Mbanefo we learnt has been on the wanted list of the police for his role in the murder of late Obi Albert Nwoko III of the Idumuje kingdom. He was also alleged to have been involved in the gang rape of 14 year old daughter of the late monarch and multiple forgeries.
Before his arrest, Mbanefo had been the main backer of Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko who is desperately scheming and laying claims to the vacant stool of the Idumuje Ugboko kingdom against the younger and rightful heir to the throne, Prince Uche Stephen Nwoko.
While perfecting the plot on how to install Nonso Nwoko as king against the wishes of the people, Mbanefo contracted some armed militants into the kingdom to attack kingmakers, elders, chiefs and indigenes. During the reign of terror unleashed on the community, the militants shot and killed a commercial motorcycle rider while two high ranking chiefs in the kingdom, the Odogwu and Iyase were abducted under the directive of Mbanefo and Nonso and taken to the palace where they were tortured and beaten.
At the end of the invasion, over 20 houses were destroyed while cars, motorcycles and other properties of people perceived to be opponents of Nonso were vandalized.
The police later swung into action and some arrests were made. Several invitations were sent to Nonso but were ignored while Mbanefo who stood as his lawyer always made excuses for him. The police had to take the case to a magistrate court which Nonso continued to ignore in contempt. The magistrate had to issue a bench warrant for his arrest.
But in order to make Nonso avoid the court, Barrister Mbanefo Nwoko presented a letter purportedly from the Chief Medical Director of General Hospital Owa Oyibo in Ika North East Local Government area, claiming Nonso was being treated of multiple ailments on the day he was supposed to be in court.
We learnt after further investigations the police approached the hospital to verify the letter and the management of the hospital denied issuing such letter and that the signature was forged.
Piqued by the report, the magistrate, F.I Dike issued the bench warrant against Chukwunonso and his surety.
However, it was later discovered that it was Barrister Mbanefo that masterminded the forgery of the medical report which made the police to declare him wanted.
Apart from that, Barrister Mbanefo Nwoko who some of his colleagues described as a failed lawyer (because he has never won a single case in the court of law), before the forgery issue, had been under the watch list of the police for his involvement in the rape of the 14 year old girl. Curiously, when asked about the rape incident, Mbanefo claimed the young girl consented.
Also tagged as a con artist, Barrister Mbanefo is said to be using the kingship brouhaha in Idimuje Ugboko as a money making venture. “He writes letters to notable Idimuje Ugboko indigenes where he solicits for funds in millions of naira to help him pursue Nonso’s kingship matter and court cases, promising to give them expanse of land if the cases are won. But he collects the money, pockets major part of it, share some to hoodlums to be terrorizing the people. So, Mbanefo doesn’t want the case to end.’’ The source disclosed.
We also learnt that since the crisis started early this year, and the attendant mayhem and destruction, Mbanefo had written frivolous petitions against the state police command, accusing it of bias and requested the cases be transferred to the zonal command in Benin.
“When the cases were taken to the zonal command, and thorough investigations were made, obviously the facts were laid bare and Mbanefo began to sponsor negative attack on the AIG in charge of the zone through social media. He even went to court in Effurun to ask for the protection of his human rights. I don’t know where you go to court to stop being arrested for murder, rape and forgeries.” The source added.
Meanwhile, the kingship brouhaha has thrown up many dirty pasts of Barrister Mbanefo Nwoko. In fact, there are stories that cast doubt on his paternity.
According to an elder of the town who confided in us, Mbanefo’s real father is said to be one Adibua Okonkwo from Ubulu-Uku town.
“It is a family secret. His father is Adibua Okonkwo, and that is why Mbanefo does not look like the Nwokos. The Nwokos are light in complexion while he is dark. You will also see that he speaks the Ubulu-Uku dialect. So, Mbanefo doesn’t have resemblance with the royal Nwoko family of Idumuje Ugboko. He was brought in as an illegitimate child,” the elder revealed.