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Open Letter to The Commissioner of Police, Rivers State

April 29, 2019

 

The Commissioner of Police,

Rivers State Police Command,

Moscow Road,

Port Harcourt.

Sir,

PLAN TO ENTER THE PREMISES OF MEMBERS OF OGALE COUNCIL OF CHIEFS AND PLANT INCRIMINATING EVIDENCES AGAINST THEM. THREAT TO LIFE AND CONDUCT LIKELY TO CAUSE SERIOUS BREACH OF PEACE IN OGALE ELEME

We write to bring to your attention the intending criminal acts of Chief Godwin Bebe Okpabi, Comrade Walter Olaka, Mr. Noble Nwolu, Emmanuel Ngochindo and Samuel Ekaa all of Ogale in the Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Sir, following the dethronement of Chief Godwin Bebe Okpabi on 27th March, 2019 by the people of Ogale from the stool of Traditional Rulership of Ogale Eleme and peacefully installed HRH, Amb. Dr. Appolus Chu in his stead, the above persons have gone on a frolic embarking on strategies to cause unrest and mayhem within the vicinity of Ogale by planning to set up some members of the Ogale Council of Chiefs, Community Development Committee and the Youth leaders by planting guns, ammunitions and illegal drugs at their premises in order to implicate them for supporting the newly installed Traditional Ruler of Ogale, HRH Amb. Dr. Appolus Chu.

The persons targeted by this dastardly act are Chief Ejii Olaka, Chief Harrison Onungwe, Chief Kenneth Obo Nwafor, Chief Godwin Obele Okochi, Chief Princeley Emeka Chujor, Chief Awaa Obe Awaa, Elder Nwogu E. Nwogu, Elder Cyrus Elechi, Hon. Appolos Oyor and Comrade Darlington Nyimeone to mention but a few.

It is pertinent to include in this petition and draw your attention sir to the fact that we have in the past written several petitions to the offices of the Commissioner of Police and the Divisional Police Officer at Eleme (both as previously constituted) against the conduct of Chief Godwin Bebe Okpabi based on the following reasons:

 

  1. Chief Okpabi failed to address issues of insecurity in Ogale as a result of which several cold blooded killings especially amongst cult groups were occasioned in Ogale and properties destroyed.

 

  1. Chief Okpabi consistently refused to call Town Hall meetings of the people of Ogale as it is his responsibility so to do as the Paramount Ruler of Ogale then and therefore diverted important issues meant for Town Hall General Meeting to his private residence with a few of his cohorts. For instance, issues concerning Shell and other Government and Corporate Bodies in the past (before he assumed office as Traditional Ruler of Ogale) were discussed in the Town Hall following adequate notices and announcements to that effect. Today, the people are excommunicated in material particular under Chief Okpabi’s watch.

 

  1. Chief Okpabi illegally removed the names of the original land owners of Shell’s Right of Way, substituted their names which were on Shell’s Record since 1958 and received several sums of money meant for compensation to the said original land owners, despite repeated pleadings with Chief Okpabi to return the people’s money for over a period of seven (7) years, to no avail.

 

  1. The said original land owners sued Chief Okpabi before His Majesty, the late Dr. S.O. Ejire in Council which decided in a judgement dated 2nd August, 2017 that Chief Okpabi should do the following:
  2. Return the origin land owners money back to them.
  3. Replace the origin land owners’ names which had been on Shell’s Record since 1958 and substituted by Chief Okpabi back to the land owners.
  4. Ensure that the Land Priest of Ogale, Chief Fortune Olakaobe should reconcile the aggrieve parties with Chief Okpabi.

 

  1. Unfortunately, Chief Okpabi deliberately refused to return the various sums of money back to the original land owners. Chief Okpabi also deliberately refused to replace their substituted names. Chief Okpabi also deliberately refused to pursue the peace settlement with the said land owners but rather threatened the Land Priest and truncated the peace settlement to the surprise and annoyance of the said land owners, the people of Ogale and the Supreme Council of Eleme Traditional Rulers eighteen (18) months after the judgment of Nkporon Eleme necessitating his dethronement of 27th March, 2019.

 

  1. Chief Okpabi was autocratic, high handed and unapproachable in his style of Rulership. For instance, Chief Okpabi unilaterally appointed the Youth Presidents of Ogale and converts them into militant soldiers for his personal purposes. Community Development Committee (CDC) Chairman and Members completely ignoring the Elites’ participation.

 

  1. Encroachment of Ogale State School Land and Ascension High School land Ogale, both lands were donated by individual families of Ogale free of charge, for the advancement of education in Ogale in 1957 and 1961 respectively, have now been seriously encroached on by Chief Godwin Bebe Okpabi using his position as Paramount Ruler of Ogale and extended his premises into the schools lands.

 

  1. Chief Godwin Bebe Okpabi has reduced the people of Ogale into litigants having numerous court cases pending at various courts in Eleme and Port Harcourt between himself and the people over series of allegations of stealing and other misconduct. Chief Okpabi has no known employment or business but totally dependent upon and lives off the resources from the community such as property development levy, royalties from SPDC and other Corporate Bodies, State and Federal road and other contracts and miscellaneous levels. He has lost influence over the people and the Glory of the people has departed from him.

 

  1. Chief Okpabi often resorts to blackmail of his subjects by writing frivolous petitions against his subjects to security agencies at Abuja and Port Harcourt for instance, he wrote a petition against Chief Abel Onungwe, Chief Awaa Obe Awaa, Comrade Darlington Nyimeone and others to the Inspector General of Police in Abuja and after these persons were arrested and detained by the office of the IGP he abandoned the matter. In the same way he petitioned Wisdom Obe Awala, Osarolaka Chu, Aaron Nwakama and Mbiewa Mbaka to the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State. Again these persons were arrested, detained and charged to the court but Chief Okpabi did not show up in the prosecution of the matter which was later struck out after three (3) months. The said issue generated so much tension within the community as Chief Okpabi was bent on blackmailing and humiliating his subjects to show his strength against his enemies.

 

  1. Chief Okpabi is a tyrant. He does not have the interest of the community at heart. He forced members of the Community to sign a communiqué not to challenge his decisions nor complain against his actions either to the court of law or any other body. The said communiqué is now the subject of a suit at the Central High Court, Port Harcourt.

 

  1. Unusual interference in some communities and/or families to nominate and install a less profiled person he can easily manipulate as a Traditional Staff Holder (One-Nkporon) of the said community or family without the consent or authority of members of that family particularly when there is a vacant stool in that community or family.

It is our fervent belief that Chief Okpabi’s threat is not without potency as the feelers about town is that Ogale is saturated with hired killers, outside cult gangs brandishing guns and dangerous weapons within the Community of Ogale. We must also mention here sir, that Chief Okpabi was dethroned following his deliberate refusal to return a very large sum of money meant to be royalties/compensation for eleven (11) families of original landlords to The Shell Development Company of Nigeria Limited having been previously ordered to do so by the Supreme Council of Eleme Traditional Rulers dated 2nd August, 2017. Such failure/ refusal on the part of Chief Okpabi is tantamount to stealing and under the native law and custom of the people of Eleme, the offence of stealing especially Community money deposes or dethrones a Traditional Ruler with immediate effect. Chief Okpabi is the architect of his own dethronement, having turned deaf ears to the cries of the people agitating for their rights over a period of seven (7) years instead of setting up the process of listening to the agitators with a view of closing their matters out. If he had done so, it would not have led to his dethronement.

We are calling on all security agencies in Rivers State to especially watch over the illegal activities of Chief Okpabi and his cohorts who have decided to unleash numerous onslaughts on the people of Ogale owing to the said dethronement. Chief Okpabi’s character in totality should be investigated both as a Politician, Traditional Ruler, relationship with non indigenes, personally and otherwise.

PLEASE NOTE THAT, customarily, a Traditional Ruler of a Community or Clan Head can be removed from office because of gross misconduct such as stealing, witchcraft and murder. Sir, it is our position that a better legal process could be adopted by Chief Okpabi and his cohorts to seek redress in the law Court if he feels that his right has been trampled upon instead of resorting to criminality.

Since the enthronement of HRH Amb. Dr. Appolus Chu as the Paramount Ruler of Ogale, peace has returned to Ogale and it is our humble application that Chief Okpabi be directed not to sabotage the effort of HRH Amb. Dr. Appolus Chu in this peace process which eluded Chief Okpabi in the past eleven (11) years while he was on the throne as Paramount Ruler of Ogale.

It is consequent upon the foregoing that we humbly call for your urgent intervention in this matter to keep them in check and to maintain the “FRAGILE PEACE” in our Community.

Thank you in earnest expectation of a prompt consideration of this petition.

 

Signed by:

 

Chief Ejii Olaka_____________________________

Traditional Staff Holder

Ogale Clan

 

Chief Harrison Onungwe_________________________

Traditional Ruler

Mbumaeta Community, Ogale

 

Chief Kenneth Obo Nwafor__________________________

Traditional Ruler of Ekpangbala

Community of Ogale

 

Chief Godwin Obele Okochi___________________________

Traditional Ruler, Adama

Community of Ogale

 

Chief Awala Ogbu___________________________________

Acting Traditional Ruler,

Okori Community, Ogale

 

Elder Cyrus Elechi___________________________________

Clan Youth Leader, Ogale

 

Elder Nwogu Emmanuel Nwogu_________________________

Clan Elder, Ogale

 

Chief Awaa Obe Awaa_________________________________

Nkporon Adama Ogale

 

Comr. Darlington O. Nyimeone___________________________

Ogale Youth President

 

Hon. Appolos Oyor____________________________________

Chairman, CDC Ogale Clan

 

Hon. Barr. Princeley E. Chujor_____________________________

Secretary, Ogale Council of Chiefs and Elders

 

Cc: The Director

Department of State Services

Zonal Office

Port Harcourt.

 

The Area Commander

Eleme Area Command

Nigeria Police Station

Eleme

 

The Divisional Police Officer

Eleme Division

Nigeria Police Station

Ogale Eleme.

 

The Officer-In Charge

Department of State Services

Eleme Division

Eleme Branch.

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