Tension in Anambra Community As ex-419 Kingpin, Monarch Square Up
Tension is building up in Abagana, Anambra State following moves by a convicted Advance-Fee fraudster, Chief Emmanuel Nwude to host a parallel new yam festival in the town to spite the regent.
Nwude, who holds the title “Owelle Abagana” and his accomplices were in 2005 convicted by a federal high court for pulling the biggest advance fee fraud in history.
Abagana regent, Obi Mbamalu Okeke had, weeks ago, offered to host the town to the traditional new yam festival. He had fixed the event for Sunday August 3, 2014.
However, people of the town were taken aback by an announcement by town criers at the weekend that Nwude would be hosting a new yam festival on the same Sunday August 3, 2014 “for all true descendants of Umudunu.”
Nwude is from Umudunu, the largest village in Abagana, and styles himself as “Leader” Umudunu-Abagana. Regent Okeke is from Akpu, one of the relatively smallest of the nine villages that make up Abagana.
Some residents of the town told Pointblanknews.com that they would stay indoors out of concern for their safety.
They described Nwude's invitation as an affront on the powers of Igwe Mbamalu, and expressed disappointment with they described as the “conspiratorial silence” of prominent sons of the town.
Abagana, a town where Nigeria suffered her biggest loss during the civil war, is home to prominent scientists, scholars and industrialist, including a former Director-General, Nigeria Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Uche Okeke.
Abagana has produced a former Minister of Science and Technology and professor of engineering of note, Gordian Ezekwe, a former deputy governor of old Anambra State, the late Vincent Aniagolu, Chukwuemeka Ike, the first African management staff of Carrier, among others.
Some persons blamed the “Abagana Divisional Police Officer (DPO) for according Nwude, for a fee, police protection to harass and intimidate law-abiding people of the town.”
They wondered aloud why one man, and an ex-convict at that, would hold an entire town to ransom.
“That Nwude is pulling all these stunts after life in prison is a most toxic affront on our collective sensibilities and has to be called to order,” said one civil servant from the town.
Before his conviction, Nwude was the largest shareholder in Union Bank Plc, and had controlling shares in several banks and blue-chip companies.
In a plea-bargain handled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nwude agreed to forfeit cash and property to the tune of 120 million US dollars.
Following his conviction, EFCC seized several properties of the scammer, including the famous Russel Centre (now Febson Mall), Abuja, a glass tower in Ikoyi, and choice automobiles.
However, EFCC operatives disclosed that they still believe Nwude has tens of millions of US dollars stashed in the accounts of fronts in Nigeria and overseas.
“We have intelligence he is deeply involved in politics and uses part of his loot to sponsor or block candidates during elections. This shows that he has learned nothing from prison,” claimed one EFCC official.
A former member of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Ike George Okoye had recently petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, alleging plots by Nwude to kill him.
The former lawmaker claimed Nwude's anger stemmed from the belief he (Okoye) was frustrating the former's several moves to become the paramount ruler of Abagana.
Okoye had specifically accused Nwude of running a kidnap ring, and using the Zone 9 Police Command in Umuahia, and the Abagana DPO, to cover his tracks, and urged the IG to call him to order.
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