The last may not have been heard about the drama at Idumuje-Ugboko in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State where a former senator, Ned Nwoko, has been allegedly oppressing residents.
Last month, he ordered the arrest of Chukwunonso Nwoko, monarch of the town, and subsequently asked the police to ransack his palace.
It was gathered that the monarch and some residents of Idumuje-Ugbako had opposed Nwoko’s attempt to forcefully acquire additional 90 hectares of land from an area earmarked for all indigenes of the community.
Heavily armed police officers accompanied by one of Nwoko’s vigilante guards, Okachi Nwa Ejimofor Nwoko, were at the palace to dig up dead bodies buried as falsely claimed by the former senator.
The team, led by the officer-in-charge of homicide in Delta State Police Command, ransacked all rooms in the palace, in search of weapons as alleged by Nwoko but they didn’t find anything.
It was gathered that Okachi had received N5million (Five million naira) from Nwoko with instructions to lead the police to the exact spot where dead bodies were buried in the palace.
The tradition of Aniocha forbids that the palace and its environment should be used for burying people.
This was after the monarch had been abducted by the police and detained at Asaba police cell.
The king, who was charged with murder as orchestrated by Nwoko, was later released on the orders of the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.
A source familiar with the police operations said it was Nwoko who informed the police command in Asaba that the palace was heavily loaded with sophisticated weapons of war.
“He informed the police to take extra precautions with regards to the operation. Then the police arrive at the palace, heavily armed, to dig up bodies of the dead (which Ned Nwoko claimed was buried at the palace). The police also ransacked every room in the palace, in search of weapons of mass destruction. The search yielded no result.
“The team of policemen was led by the officer-in-charge of homicide in Delta State Police Command. A special unit from Abuja was also sent as support for this palace disturbance and intimidation. It included a pathologist and quantities of body bags to preserve its evidence.
“After hours of digging, the police got frustrated. They said, ‘Nobody for here. All we dey see na pipes to the soakaway. (If there is anybody buried here, we would see it before the pipe’).
“When the police further interrogated Okachi, who was handcuffed throughout the digging, he told them he was confident.
“The police left the palace frustrated, without finding anybody or bodies buried at the palace as alleged by Ned Nwoko and his ‘boys’. It signed a consent agreeing that it did not find anybody buried in the palace as alleged by Okachi and as reported by Ned Nwoko,” the source said.
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