The people of Obibiezena autonomous community in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State are now under severe pressure. This is even as one Peter Onwuenenyi, who parades himself as the traditional ruler of the community has been doing everything possible to make life difficult and even unbearable for the Obibiezenans. The increasingly unbearable conditions Peter Onyewuenyi, who actually is Peter Nnadi, has imposed on Obibiezena and her indigenes warranted the outcry that necessitated our inquest into what really is going on in Obibiezena autonomous community.
After an extensive background, due diligence investigations in and around the Obibiezena autonomous community, and discrete interviews with several indigenes resident in and outside the community, a group under the agies of Ezena Leaders of Thought (ELT), concluded that there is a wide gulf and divide between the people and the man who claims to be their traditional ruler. The group discovered that as far as Obibiezenans were concerned, Peter Nnadi a.k.a Peter Onyewuenyi is an impostor and not their legitimate traditional ruler.

The group Leader who spoke to Journalists in Owerri, gave a lucid, graphic and picturial evidence of the true situation of Obibiezena autonomous community in relation to the lingering altercations and squabbles over the office of the traditional ruler of the community.

For convenience of factual presentation devoid of editorial imposition of extraneous thoughts and ideas, we decided to reproduce here the exact words of our respondent, who for obvious reasons of the nature of the matter and the need for his safety and security, re-emphasized the need to protect his identity. Enjoy reading his very revealing, instructive account.

The source said,”Obibiezena Autonomous Community is located in Owerri North L.G.A. of Imo State. It is perhaps the largest single autonomous community in existence since the creation of old Imo State and It is made up of four component villages namely; Amaeze, Emeke, Amaorie and Ogbeke.

“Obibiezena Developement Union as the Town Union is the umbrella body of the autonomous community and has been in existence since 1933. It was formerly known as Obibi Union, however, in 1970 it transformed into the Obibiezena Development Union and has remained uninterrupted. The Town Union has over fourteen(14) branches across Nigeria, with Diaspora affiliates in the United Kingdom known as the Obibi Union U.K., the Obibiezena Progressive Association(O.P.A.) which is the umbrella body of the three branches we have in the United States of America (USA), clusters in the Republic of Ireland and some other European countries. The Union is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as No 4773.

“One year after the death of Ezena II, HRH Eze Leonard Ishiguzo, the Standing Council on Ezeship declared the royal stool vacant. And Amaorie, the village whose turn is to produce the next king was given the community’s instrument on ezeship where conditions for eligibility are clearly stated.

“Five persons expressed interest, including  Peter Nnadi who is alleged to have questionable records. But in order to add some value to his name, he changed his surname to that of his late father’s master called Onyewuenyi. Today he prefers to be addressed as Eze Dr. Sir. Peter Onyewuenyi with these unverifiable prefixes. Before the selection period for the new king, he had lived in the USA for over 32 years and still lives in the USA till date. He only visits Nigeria once in a long while. As a matter of fact, he is an American citizen.

“Mr. Peter Onyewuenyi was disqualified from participating in the race for the king’s throne( Ezena III) because of the following reasons;
“1. He is ordinarily a citizen of the United States of America, where he permanently resides with his wife and children for over 32 years before expressing interest. In other words, he was disqualified for not being a permanent resident in Nigeria as prescribed by the Community’s instrument on Ezeship.

“2. The Community also noted his confirmed indictment on a first degree felony by a United States of America, Texas grand jury as announced by Attorney General Abbott on April 22nd, 2014 over an alleged fraud case of $200,000 Medicaid fraud in Houston Texas and other associated issues. {Case No: 142613801010}. To avoid jail he took a plea bargain and paid back the proceeds of fraud, while himself and his company {Sonica Healthcare Services} were blacklisted. Received memoranda shows that he was also convicted for a misdemeanor Class A crime {Case No: 933932901010} on 2nd of August, 1994 where he was sentenced to a jail term of 180 days. He served some months and applied for probation, of which he was granted a one year probation period.

“His disqualification was also based on the recommendations of the Community Instrument on Ezeship which states thus: “He must have good reputation within and outside the community”.
“3. During his interview he told the Standing Council on Ezeship that himself as one time President of Obibiezena Progressive Union, Houston, Texas and the then Treasurer, Ugo-Eze Charity Ekezie authorized the withdrawal of $12,000 from the association’s account but subsequent reports revealed that he acted alone without verbal or written approval from the house or the Treasurer by changing the status of the association and making himself an Executive President with other 48 members as his employees. This gave him exclusive rights over the bank account of the association. Therefore, Peter Onyewuenyi was disqualified for not possessing good character and reputation in and outside the community.
“4. He has been suspended indefinitely by the Obibiezena Progressive Union, Houston, Texas and endorsed by our umbrella body in U.S.A. known as the Obibiezena Progressive Association, U.S.A. for (a) Financial impropriety resulting from unauthorized withdrawal of $12,000 and $4,103 from the account of Obibiezena Progressive Union, Houston respectively without the explicit approval of the Exco and Members. (b) Refusal to honour three invitations by the investigating committee to prove his alleged threat to his life and that of his immediate family by Prof. Cajetan Akujobi, former President of O.P.U. and two other sons of Obibiezena, which he made viral on the internet and social media.
“Testimonies from the leadership of Obibiezena Progressive Association, an umbrella body of Nde Obibiezena in the U.S.A. reveals that Peter Onyewuenyi is not an honest person, not a stable person, and not a man of character to occupy the Ezeship position in our community.
“At the end, the process did not favour him as Sir Shedrack Amadi was seleted and presented by the Standing Council on Ezeship of the community to the Council of Ndi Oha and the local government. Instead of appealing the internal process within the 30 days window stipulated by our constitution, he fraudulently blackmailed the entire process of selection by saying it was politically masterminded to favour a particular political party.

“He took advantage of the relationship between his late elder brother and the then Governor Rochas Okorocha to frustrate the well known process of selecting an Eze in Obibiezena by making empty promises including his offer of majority stake in his briefcase company called G & P Waste Recycling Company which he has positioned as vehicle to dupe vulnerable members of the public.

“Believing his story, Owelle Rochas Okorocha set up a panel headed by the then Secretary to the Government of Imo State, Chief George Eche with five renowned traditional rulers and some directors from the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. After a thorough work of fact-finding by the panel, Sir Shedrack Amadi was still recommended as his selection followed stipulated guidelines of the community laws. In fact, based on the recommendation of the Sir George Eche led committee, the Ministry asked Sir Shedrack Amadi to pay for his Staff of Office in preparation for his recognition by the Governor.

“However, to the greatest shock of every indigene of Obibiezena autonomous community, on the day designated for recognition of Sir Shedrack Amadi as our traditional ruler, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the then governor, stepped down that of Obibiezena, and requested for Peter Onyewuenyi, who was far away in the United States to return. He then arrange a kangaroo so-called plebiscite which was designed to impose Peter Onyewuenyi, his ally, as our traditional ruler. Presently this matter of gross neglect of the community’s Instrument on Ezeship is being challenged at the High Court, Owerri with Suit No: HOW/568/2017.

“On the day Owelle Rochas Okorocha presented Peter Onyewuenyi with his Certificate of Recognition, despite all known documents of the fraudulent activities of Peter Onyewuenyi, the then Governor advised him precisely in the following words: “Your people say you are a bad man, but go and sin no more. Try to change your ways.”

“Behold since the 14th day of July, 2017, the fraudulently imposed, so-called traditional ruler of Obibiezena has fueled his fraudulent activities upon the peace-loving people of Obibiezena by claiming all sorts of things, with name dropping of how the then Governor asked him to do this or that. The following are some examples of what he claims Owelle Rochas Okorocha asked him to do:

“1. Unilaterally appointing a Traditional Prime Minister and constituting his cabinet without following the provisions of the constitution governing the people of Obibiezena.

“2. Himself and his cohorts have been harassing and collecting revenues from Orie Obibiezena Market, which is the biggest community market in the entire Owerri Zone, without channeling same to improvement of the market or development within the community, thereby making the place look so much like a waste dump slum.

“3. Fraudulently using the name of his personal briefcase company known as G & P Waste Recycling Company to award or sublet a contract to “De Oxina Nigeria Limited” for the development of some lockup stores within Orie Obibiezena community market, without the consent of the Town Union and other known structures in the community. In the dubious MOU he resurveyed an already surveyed market, including properties of others persons and claimed himself as traditional ruler is the original landlord of the market. He levied the vulnerable and uninformed members of the public the sum of N400,000/N450,000 per lockup store of about 8ft by 8ft size, and the open stall of 8ft by 4ft size, for N250,000.

“That was not enough, he structured the MOU in such a way that proceeds from the management of the market will be paid to his company, himself as traditional ruler, and the developer of the market, who he also solely brought. In the said MOU, the only witness that accented to the document is one Raymond Obijuru, who is his personal driver. He also declared that the market will be under their management for 15 years. The civil contents of this matter are being challenged is court in suit No: HOW/727/2018.
“However, the criminal conspiracy/fraudulent element surrounding this transaction is being investigated by the Nigerian Police Force under the Force CID Headquarters, Abuja.

“4. This same Peter Onyewuenyi in 2018 forcefully cleared the water front of Umuejim kindred and turned it to his personal estate for dredging activities without taking into caution the environmental effect that could have on the Community. He also in without the knowledge and explicit approval of the kindred on the 24th of March, 2019, cleared over 200 plots of kindred land, destroying ancient boundaries, economic trees and plants belonging to the kindred all for forceful take over. He claimed to be attracting world class shopping complex through some Italian donors. He used the name of the Nigerian Navy that they were coming to set up a base to harass the kindred. This matter is also before the Court in suit No HOW/685/2019.

“5. This man has in two consecutive years advertised on the social media for interested chieftaincy recipients in the USA and Nigeria to come forward by paying money into his personal domiciliary account and the Naira account. Peter Onyewuenyi has proved himself to be so cheap that with the sum of N18,000 (Eighteen Thousand Naira Only) he has been awarding chieftaincy to individuals unilaterally( Over 30persons by my count) within and outside the community without following the stipulated guidelines of the law.

“6. Imagine a traditional ruler who is an American citizen appealing on facebook for people to pay money into his account for his eye surgery in the USA. Does it mean he is not on medical insurance or has he also lost that privilege due to his fraudulent actions?
“This revelation is quite necessary to warn the general pubilc to be careful with the actions and deceit of this known fraudster. On facebook you will see the so called Eze Peter Onyewuenyi; advertizing that Obibiezena community has a world-class Shopping Complex, a waste recycling plant, a petrochemical plant, a luxury housing estate known as Ulueze Housing Estate, and many more which he uses to attract the vulnerable public both local and international, with a grand nefarious plan to obtain money from them fraudulently.

“For all of the foregoing, the Town Union has continuously resisted him by orientating the people of Obibiezena and the general public to be mindful of his sinister plans and antics. I am aware the courts have been used to slow down some of his actions.

“All these are not going to be well with him, as he feels frustrated because the core essence of his coming from the U.S.A. after almost 30 years to become a traditional ruler is to mortgage the common heritage of his people for self-aggrandizement. Now, he has resurfaced after almost ten months for another scam, struggling to ensure that the present composition of the town union is dislodged.

“In another action, he is busy sending out official letters and messages that purport that the Governor again has asked him to conduct and moderate an election within the community to produce the President-General, Woman Leader and Youth Leader thereby causing serious disaffection between the people of Obibiezena and the government of Imo State. Even when the IMC Chairman of Owerri North LGA has informed him both verbally and in writing, he is still bent on heating up the community. This letter should also serve as an alert that the action is capable enough to breach the peace that the community has been enjoying for sometime now. Obviously, that does not matter to him as all he wants is a clear coast so that himself and cohorts alone can use the community assets to deceive and dupe people, after which he will run back to the United States of America”, the source narrated.

From the foregoing story of an Obibiezena community leader, it is very clear that not only is there a problem of ascension on to the traditional ruler’s throne in Obibiezena autonomous community, but the person that is currently being introduced as their traditional ruler, America-based Peter Onyewuenyi, is felon with evidences of criminal convictions in the United States of America, which disqualified him to hold the office of traditional ruler, going by the Constitution of Obibiezena. Incidentally, as we wrote this report, Peter Onyewuenyi is still parading and indeed marauding as the traditional ruler of Obibiezena autonomous community.
No doubt, the last may not have been heard about the face-off in Obibiezena between the people and the ex-convict called Peter Onyewuenyi.