I Was Almost Kidnapped By Uwaleke’s Men, Eze Ariri Alleges 

…Thanks Uzodinma’s prompt intervention 

By Onyinyechi Nwankwo

Following an embarrassing incident at the Criminal Investigation Department, CID, of the Imo Police State Headquarters, Owerri, recently, on account of Uratta ezeship stool, HRH, Eze  Boniface Ariri, Eze Udo IV of Obibi Uratta Autonomous Community, has said that he would have been whisked away from the police station to an unknown destination by some police officers allegedly working for Chief Amaobi Uwaleke, save the prompt intervention of Governor Hope Uzodimma.

Eze Ariri who received his staff of office on the February 3, this year from the state government, narrated this Monday, during an interview with journalists at his Palace In Umuorii Uratta in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State,

Eze Ariri frowned at Uwaleke’s alleged that  Uwaleke, was very good at threatening innocent individuals through his influence and romance with the police, saying he even threatens some policemen with unpleasant transfer to the North if they allegedly refuse his biddings.

The royal father recounted that recently, he received an invitation letter from the police state CID, with Ref No: CR: 3000/IMS/CID/S/O/VOL.136/166 on charges of impersonation, conspiracy, forgery and action likely to cause breach of peace, which got him wondering who he might be impersonating when he possesses the authentic documents backing him as the Eze of Obibi Uratta. He added that a thorough investigation to that effect was later carried out by the police at his palace to ascertain the proof of his certificate, Staff of Office among other vital things.

He noted that it was on his second invitation to the station to which his rival, Uwaleke, was also expected to be present for the conclusion and fine-tuning of the Ezeship investigation on the matter, that the men suspected to have come from the Force Headquarters Abuja,  who refused to register their mission were said to be waiting at the gate of the station to take him, but their plan was aborted by the intervention of the governor.

“As I got to the station the second time, very relaxed and confident, waiting for the conclusion of the police investigation on our matter, we started getting the hint that some people from Force Headquarters Abuja were at the station’s gate waiting to pick me up and the question was why? What did I do? And the funny thing was that they refused to register their mission and not as if it was a case of file or case transfer. I was advised to be careful with such a move, so I called the Government House and luckily for me, the governor was around in the state. He gave an order that both the men from the Force Headquarters and myself be brought to the Government House”, Ariri disclosed .

He maintained that “right before the policemen, the Governor identified me as his traditional ruler and immediately asked that I and  my cabinet members be allowed to go. The story would have been a  different thing now if not for the prompt intervention of the governor. Honestly, I am not happy with this move by my opponent which I described as a small ambush, an attempt of kidnap which I escaped”.

The Surveyor turned Eze, stated that he has a court judgement backing his Ezeship  from the Imo State High Court with Suit No HOW/103/2022 dated October 5, 2022, where the presiding Judge LC Azuma, dismissed all the claims presented by Uwaleke, who was the plaintiff for lack of merit and fined him N200,000.00.

Eze   Ariri affirmed that in the judgment the judge made it clear that Uwaleke committed an offence by going against the tradition of his community in making himself Eze and presenting himself to the local government just two months after the death of the formal traditional ruler  who was being mourned by his subjects; an action seen as abomination. He disclosed that neither Rochas Okorocha nor Emeka Ihedioha gave him, Uwaleke, any Staff of Office.

Appreciating Governor Uzodimma for coming to his rescue, Eze Ariri appealed to the state government to once more make a public announcement on who the authentic Eze of Obibi Uratta is, for better understanding of his people, adding that the Ezeship stool remains a sacred one which is not meant for just any kind of person, but for one which the people can attest to his antecedents and approve of them before finding him worthy for the throne.

Ariri noted that his humility, love for fellow human being, among other endearing virtues, fetched him a lot of credit and acceptance by his people, which he stressed was demonstrated in their jubilation on the day he finally decided to become their Eze, advising his rival and other aggrieved members of the community to sheath their swords and allow peace to reign for the progress of the community.


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