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By Daniel Ohamadike
Igbo Speaking Community in Lagos State and its Council of Ndieze led by Chief Sunday Udeh and Eze Chika Nwokedi respectively, have debunked and rejected in its entirety, the content of the Press briefing held at the Old School,National Stadium Surulere ,Lagos, by some Igbo Leaders in collaboration with the Council of Ndieze Igbo Lagos State.
The leadership of the Community alerted and warned members of the public to be wary of those they said are parading themselves as Ezendigbo in Lagos State, while they are actually rebellious Cabinet Chiefs of Eze Hyacinth Ohazuruike.
At their counter press briefing held on December 14th, 2023, at the Palace of Eze Chika Nwokedi, the group lashed at the Ezes from Eze Udo Camp, who they described as Chiefs crowned by Eze Ohazuruike for administrative convenience, decorated as Ezendigbo of Lagos State.
In a statement signed by the President General of Igbo Speaking Community, Chief Sunday Udeh ,his Secretary, Engr. Chucks Odimegwu , their Chairman of Council of Ndieze, Lagos State, Eze Chika Nwokedi and his Secretary, Dr Ferdinard Aguneke, respectively, they frowned at the intrusion of the Eze Udo group into the Igbo Speaking community affairs in Lagos State.
Delving into Ezeship coronation controversy,the group stated that Igbo Speaking community was duly registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission,CAC, with registration number, 11534 as legal entity to crown Eze Ndigbo in Lagos State with their laid down rules and regulations since 1999 till date.
According to the group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and traditional rulers in the South East were aware and had been supportive including Igbo associations and the host communities in Lagos State.
Further berating the Eze Udo Camp, they stated that the criteria for crowning Ezeship in Lagos State, includes presentation of candidates by the immediate community to Igbo Speaking community, screening, letter of consent by the candidate’s town union and traditional ruler from South East based on page 12, Article 7, Section 2-7 of Igbo speaking community constitution.
Contributing from the legal perspectives ,Eze, Dr . Ferdinard Aguneke ,a lawyer,who is the Igbo Speaking Community Ezes in Ibeju Lekki, elaborately explained Igbo Speaking Community positions before the law and further warned of the consequences of alleged ongoing infractions by Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Lagos and the Eze Udo group.
Frowning at duplication of Council of Ndieze in Lagos, the group said : “Based on the number of Ndieze crowned over the years, spreading to the Local Government areas in the State, Igbo Speaking community formed Council of Ndieze in 2005, which Eze Chika Nwokedi is the current chairman.”
They stated that setting up another Council by the Ohanaeze President, Chief Solomon Aguene, headed by Eze Chris Offia, whose tenure has elapsed and was nullified by the same creator, Chief Aguene in 2022, does not hold water and therefore null and void.
Hear Them : “It should be noted that the members of Eze Udo title holders, which Eze Offia was the then Chairman, were created as representatives of Eze Hycient Ohazuruike in various LCDAs in Lagos State and as such they served as cabinet members of Eze Ohazuruike”.
“In Igbo culture and tradition, a king does not crown a king but Chiefs. Therefore, all Eze Udo title holders headed by Eze Chris Offia, should revert to their function and go and make peace with their principal, Eze Ohazuruike”.
Contradicting the position of Chief Sunday Ossia led Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos State, Chief Udeh Led Igbo Speaking Community said thus: “There is nowhere in the constitution of Ohanaeze Ndigbo that empowers crowning individuals as Eze in any part of the world. Therefore, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, as an Apex body like Afenifere, Arewa Consultative Forum cannot descend so low to dabble into Ezeship in diaspora, which is solely the responsibility of the community where the Igbos resides”.
Warning of impending litigation, the Udeh Led Igbo Speaking Community while further rejecting the contents of the press conference by the Eze Udo group , warned them and any other association including individuals to henceforth, desist from dabbling into affairs of the Igbo Speaking community and the Council of Ndieze in Lagos State or they may be forced to take legal action to defend the constitution of Igbo Speaking Community in Lagos State.
On the controversial installation of alleged criminal element as Eze Ndigbo in Festac, Chief Udeh exhibited a letter he received from His Royal Majesty, Eze Uzu 111 of Awka Ancient Kingdom in Anambra State,Obi Dr. Austin Chukwuezugo Ndigwe, confirming the eligibility and Character of Chief Prosper Chukwuemeka Chukwuka, who he coronated as Eze Ndigbo in Festac.
He asked anyone who has criminal complaints against the installed Eze Ndigbo in Festac to approach the appropriate authority like Police and Court,as he was not aware of any fraudulent allegations, charges or saw any conviction from Court against Chukwuka before he coronated him as the Eze in Festac.
Speaking on his purported Ostracizment and declaration as Personae Non Grater by Eze Udo group, the Visibly angry Chief Sunday Udeh,said his Lawyers were studying the statement with a view of taking legal action.