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Anambra community demands detained community leader’s release

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By Lawrence Nwimo

The people of Amanuke community in Awka North local government area, Anambra state are demanding the release of their leader, Chief Dennis Ezebuilo.

The people made the demand in a protest at the Federal High Court, Awka, the Anambra state capital on Monday.

Orient Daily gathered that the arrest and detention of the community leader was in connection with the ongoing kingship tussle in the community, where it was claimed that the arrested community leader was parading himself as the traditional ruler of the community.

Sources have it that Dennis Ezebuilo was remanded in police custody by Justice Hyeladzira Ajiya Nganjiwa of Federal High court, Awka, following a case of alleged impersonation as the traditional ruler of Amanuke and related matters against him by the police.

Making their feelings known to newsmen, the protesters, numbering over 100 and bearing placards with varying inscriptions like ‘Igwe Dennis is our crown king of Amanuke,’ ‘Amanuke is behind Igwe Dennis Ezebuilo,’ ‘Dennis Ezebuilo is our choice,’ among others, insisted that the election of Dennis Ezebuilo followed the constitution of the community.

The protesters alleged that the issuance of the certificate of recognition by the state government to Alphonsus Ezebuilo as the traditional ruler of the community, was aided by a functionary the governor and son of the community in an attempt to impose him on the community.

Addressing the newsmen during the protest, Moses Afum, said members of the community were surprised by reports that Chief Dennis Ezebuilo was arrested for impersonation.

According to him, “Dennis Ezebuilo is the Igwe we elected in Amanuke and he passed through the community’s constitution. We do not know what is happening again. One Alphonsus Ezebuilo collected the certificate of kingship through the backyard and is parading himself as the new king of our community.

“We are surprised hearing that Igwe Dennis Ezebuilo is impersonating. It is Igwe Alphonsus that is impersonating because we, the entire Amanuke people, do not know him. Alphonsus Ezebuilo is not our Igwe and he will never be,” he said.

Also speaking, the former deputy president general of Amanuke, Ejiofor Augustine, accused political gladiators in the Anambra state government of instigating the imposition of a traditional ruler on the people and making it seem like the people of the community were fighting the state government.

“The voice of the people is the voice of God. It is very appalling that few people in the community, because they are in the Anambra state government, use their position to intimidate the community. We have the right to choose who should lead us and the community unanimously crowned Dennis Ezebuilo as the traditional ruler of Amanuke kingdom.”

The protesters called on the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, to intervene on the matter and save the town from the situation, they say, could lead to breach of peace and security in the community.

The government-recognised traditional ruler of Amanuke, Igwe Alphonsus Ezebuilo, had, in an interview last week, said he sought justice from the court because he was crowned in 2014 by Amanuke people and the Anambra state government duly certified him as Igwe on July 12, 2015.

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