Ihuoma Chiedozie, Enugu
The traditional ruler of Ogbozine Akpugo, a community in the Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State, Igwe Steven Nwatu, has been murdered by yet to be identified persons.
It was gathered that the royal father was killed on Monday evening by assailants, who beat him until he lost consciousness.
He was reportedly rushed to Parklane Hospital, Enugu, where he was confirmed dead.
Sources in the community informed our correspondent that the royal father and some policemen attached to him were trying to effect the arrest of some members of the village, when he was ambushed by the assailants.
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Nwatu was said to have just returned from a court sitting when he was attacked.
The traditional ruler was, reportedly, recently dragged to court by some of his subjects, who are not happy with the way he rules the community.
During the attack on Monday, the hoodlums, said to be many in number, reportedly disarmed the policemen attached to the royal father before attacking him.
The policemen were said to have taken to their heels, leaving the traditional ruler at the mercy of his irate subjects.
There were unconfirmed reports that Nwatu was stripped naked in the course of the attack.
Our correspondent learnt that the royal father had been at loggerheads with some of his subjects, who accused him of high-handedness.
A source in the community claimed that Nwatu usually invited the police to arrest members of the village over false allegations.
He was also said to have scuttled moves to put in place a town union leadership in the community, a development which gave him the powers to rule unchallenged.
Recently, some members of the community had protested against the ‘Igwe’ at the Enugu State Government House, urging Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to depose him.
The aggrieved subjects eventually dragged him to court.
Before then, some youths of Agbozine Agbugo had besieged the Nkanu Police Station, threatening to burn down the facility after some community leaders were arrested, allegedly based on a petition written against them by the royal father.
Meanwhile, some youths, said to be the royal father’s loyalists, set fire on a number of buildings said to belong to Nwatu’s ‘enemies’ in the community.
The Enugu State Police Command, on Tuesday, said it had brought the situation in the community under control.
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