ANAMBRA COMMUNITY DEPOSES KING

By NBF News
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The traditional ruler of Umueje Community in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State, Igwe Elias Nneli, has been deposed. Consequently, the community has asked the state government to withdraw forthwith the monarch's certificate of recognition and staff of office.

Igwe Nneli, who has been in office for the past 34 years, was being ousted by his people for what they called his many atrocities including sales of community land, misappropriating of the community's fund and high handedness.

But in a swift reaction, Igwe Nneli, who was present at a state function yesterday in Awka boasted that he remains the Traditional Ruler and that no one can depose him.

Insisting that he could defend himself anywhere if called upon, the monarch alleged that those talking about deposing him were a section of the community who were merely trying to cause trouble but stressed that he has not committed any crime that calls for such action.

Briefing newsmen yesterday in Awka on the matter, the President-General of Umueje Improvement Union (UIU), Mr. Ifeanyi Odogwu and his deputy, Joseph Emengini, warned the public not to engage in any form of business with Nneli, stressing that whoever engages him, does so at his own risk, adding that the community had already commenced shopping for his replacement.

According to them, the embattled monarch was the only traditional ruler in the state that operates without council of chiefs, stressing that he has done so since his installation in 1977.

They said, 'His atrocities are many; we have stomached all these things for so long a time and we have decided not to continue like this. How many are we to talk about, is it the selling of lands that belong to the community in collaboration with some neighbouring communities, he has been ruling Umueje with iron hands.

'The removal of Nneli is unanimous without any counter motion and a vote of no confidence has been passed on him, so the decision of the community is final. The petition he had earlier wrote to the police caused the arrest of three innocent boys in the community, though they were released on bail and up till now, he has not paid the fine imposed on him by the community'.

In the said petition, the monarch was alleged to have told the police that the community's vigilante group was using pump action guns to terrorize people in the area; an action they said was a taboo in Umueje community.