A serving commissioner in Imo state Nkechi Ugwu, one of the daughters of Engr Godwin Ugwu has influenced the arrest and detention of one of her relatives, Wilson Ugwu by officers of the Imo state police command.
It was gathered that Nkechi in a bid to forestall the burial of her late uncle, Omemgboji within the extended late Godwin Ugwu’s compound used her position and contacts to facilitate the arrest of Wilson who on getting to the police, narrated his side of the story to some sympathetic officers who told him that he was arrested at the instance of Nkechi Ugwu who gave directives to that effect.
They also told him that though the offence for which he was arrested was bailable, he would not be allowed to go home without Nkechi Ugwu’s consent.
“The matter was however brought to the attention of a Superior police office who after listening to him advised the two parties to either go home and settle their differences through the traditional institution or proceed to court.
Wilson Ugwu in a chat with press men after his release from police custody expressed disappointment that his sister could go to the extent of ordering his arrest because she is a commissioner.
“I didn’t expect her to go to such extent. I served their father from a very young age till I grew up. Their mother was also very close to me. When their mother died, my own mother took them as her biological children, I know and had the receipts of all lands their father bought in the village. I voluntarily surrendered all the receipts to them when their father died. I am surprised they could do this to me. How can they just wake up and start branding us tenants and strangers in our father’s compound? Its unfair and we can’t accept it.”
Few days after Wilson’s release from police custody, the Commissioner headed to Nwabosi Customary Court, Amanator to obtain an injunction restraining the children of Omemgbeoji from burying their late dad within the family compound. She claims that the uncle has no inheritance within the large expanse of the land and must not be laid to rest.
The issue had been handled by the traditional institutions in Ogwume. Both the Umunna and Umuada resolved in favor of Omemgbeoji family. James Ugwu, the grandfather of the Commissioner married six wives. Godwin Ugwu, the father of the Commissioner was the first son of James and the brother of the deceased,Omemgbeoji couldn’t build his own house.
He lived in his father’s house till he died few months ago. The issue is whether at death, he is entitled to a six feet portion of land within the fathers compound for a perpetual rest. While the people of Ogwume saw no problem in interring the dead man in his father’s compound, the Honorable Commissioner for Women Affairs and the Vulnerable disagreed with the position of her people. To her, the dead man was a tenant in his father’s compound and his tenancy expired with his death. She demanded that the children of the deceased should look for money and buy a parcel of land anywhere on earth to lay down the corpse of their father.”
A prominent indigene of the area who pleaded anonymity criticized the commissioner and accused her of unwholesome intimidation and abuse of powers. “How can a woman who is married to an Oguta man come to Ogwume to dictate for us “he queried. A youth leader in Ogwume asked a rhetoric question-‘who is Nkechi Ugwu’? Was she around when her father died? Did she contribute a dime towards the burial of her father? What right does she have to determine who gets what in Ugwu’s family”? One old man, who incidentally plays a key role in the imbroglio warned that ‘if this case is not well handled it would create a serious problem in Ogwume and beyond’ He asked, “how can you call your brothers tenants in their father’s house? Nkechi should allow Omemgbeoji to rest in peace.”
The matter was called up in court on November, 30, for hearing but was later adjourned to January11th January 2022.