–         As Chukwudi Iwunze’s Record Of Alleged Criminal Activities Emerge

The people of Umuajogba, Ubommiri, in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State, have debunked a report published on pages 1 and 6 of “The White Paper” newspaper edition of Friday, May, 24, 2024, where-in, one Chukwudi Iwunze alias Paddy, accused the Traditional Ruler of Ubommiri autonomous community, His Royal Highness Eze Emma Saint George Eke, Ishi Ubom of Ubommiri, of aiding and abetting the vandalization of his farm in a bid to forcefully appropriate a piece of land he purportedly inherited from his parents.

The community, in a disclaimer jointly signed by the Chairman, Sir Robert IK Nwanebo, a retired military officer, Secretary, Engr Eugene Duru, Youth Leader, Uchegbulem Kingsley Uchenna, the Chief Priest (Onye Ishi Ala) Clement Anucha, Woman Leader, Mrs Florence Anucha and Christian .E. Iwunze, who incidentally, is the eldest man in Chukwudi Iwunze’s family, expressed disappointment that an indigene could go to the ridiculous extent of misrepresenting facts and concocting lies to tarnish the image of their revered traditional ruler who, they said, is not only passionately committed to the welfare of his subjects but also has zero tolerance for all kinds of sharp practices.

The disclaimer issued after a meeting held in the community on Saturday, May, 25, 2024, reads, “Our attention has been drawn to a publication on pages 1…..and………6 of “The White Paper” Newspaper edition of Friday, May, 24, 2023, where-in our revered Traditional Ruler, His Royal Highness, Eze Emma Saint George Eke, Ishi Ubom of Ubommiri autonomous community, in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State, was maligned, falsely accused and presented in bad light by one of our kinsmen, Chukwudi Iwunze, alias Paddy, whose questionable character, alleged criminal track record and antecedents have not only projected our community, in bad light but also brought us shame, disgrace and embarrassment.

As a matter of fact, he has made himself personae non grata, as he is neither a member nor attends village meetings. We, by this publication individually and collectively distance and dissociate ourselves and the entire Umuajogba community from the false, misleading and mischievous publication, which to all intents and purposes have no iota of truth.

The land which Chukwudi Iwunze claims belongs to his mother is communally owned and has always been cultivated by Umuajogba women who were allocated individual portions. The land was a subject of litigation for a very long time dating back to 1970s and 80s. When the court case finally ended in our favour, the community decided to temporarily donate it to the women, including Chukwudi’s mother, who, like others, were allocated portions to cultivate. Any woman who passes on, her own portion of the land would be allocated to another person, including newly married wives or those who relocated to the village from where they resided.

Chukwudi Iwunze is now laying claim to the land because the community refused to give him the two plots of land he requested for as condition for him to release the court documents/Certified True Copy of the judgment which was in his father’s custody before he died.

It is also on record that the community is the Defendant in the said documents which Chukwudi Iwunze has forcefully withheld and not Chukwudi or any of his parents. Hence, he has no right whatsoever to claim the land that belongs to the entire community. It was also the community that funded the legal tussle that culminated in the acquisition of the said land”.

Our reporter who was present at the meeting, said several people who alleged that they were defrauded by Chukwudi Iwunze narrated how he defrauded them of various sums of money and still went ahead to harass, intimidate, and cause the Police to arrest and detain them.

Engr Franklin Chima, who tendered an Irrevocable Power of Attorney, narrated how Chukwudi sold a piece of land to them at the cost of eight million naira #8m and gave them an Irrevocable Power of Attorney made in the name of Mr Sabinus Smith Uhuegbu of Umudurugo, Umduruewuru, Okoroduru, Ekwe, in Isu Local Government Area of Imo State. When they told him to go and mark out the land to enable them commence their project, he arrested and took them to Owerri Area Police Command, where they were detained for 4 days. “When the matter eventually got to the attention of the Assistant Commissioner of Police at the headquarters of the Imo State Police Command and Iwunze was invited for interrogation, he absconded and has been in hiding till date, making it difficult for us to take possession of the land or get back our money”.

Others, including a couple also narrated how Chukwudi collected different huge sums of money from them in the guise of having allocation for federal job offers which turned out to be a plot through which he defrauded them. All efforts made to recover their money has been futile.

A 20 year old boy named Emeka, who hails from Chukwudi’s village, also gave a graphic account of how Chukwudi hired him and his friends to work for him in 2022 and has not paid them till date, adding that they wanted to use the money to register for their WAEC examinations. When they made effort to collect their money from him, he chased them away and threatened to deal with them mercilessly. Hence, they forfeited the money till date.

When contacted, HRH, Eze Emma Saint George Eke, who, all those present at the meeting confirmed neither solicits for, nor collects money for in any guise, including rent or levies from the market showed this reporter a letter addressed to him by the women requesting approval to use the land in question to register a co-operative society that will enable them access the various accruable benefits from the state and federal governments, as women in other communities are doing.

“Continuing, he said, though I was not in town then, I directed them to meet the Chairman and the Traditional Prime Minister for necessary action. That was the situation before Chukwudi Iwunze encroached on the land which the women resisted. However I would not condescend to the abysmal level of joining issues with Chukwudi Iwunze, whose antecedents are nothing to write home about”.Effort to reach Chukwudi for comment proved abortive as his phone was switched off .