On the 21st of March, 2020, a National Executive Council meeting (comprising of the National Executive members, the fifteen branches’ Presidents and Secretaries amongst others) of the Evwreni Clan Improvement Union (ECIU), an umbrella body of all indigenes, living within and in diaspora, that is responsible for the kingdom’s administration was held at the Eni Hall in the heart of the kingdom. At the said meeting, far reaching decisions to move the kingdom forward were taken. One of such decisions was the immediate inauguration and swearing in of the various Committees and their members respectively. The committees are Town Planning/Building, Health, Education, Works, Agriculture, Civil Defense/Security, Social and Marriage.
While the other committees are already functioning, the monarch of the kingdom, Eruvwedede III, vehemently refused to allow the newly inaugurated Civil Defense/Security committee to function, preferring the old dissolved body that he uses to forment troubles in the kingdom to remain – this is the genesis of the internal crisis rocking the kingdom that have led to the loss of lives, missing persons and the wanton destruction of properties.
In trying to resolve this impasse, the leadership of ECIU and the monarch, accompanied by some of his chiefs and hangers-on, were called to a meeting twice by the Area Commander, Ughelli Area Command, ACP Lawan Shinkafi. The current Chairman of Ughelli North Local Government Area, Godwin Adode and the DPO of A-Division Ughelli, CSP Kelvin Zuokomor were also in attendance.
When the issue could not be resolved amicably between both parties, it was referred to the Commissioner of Police in Delta State, CP Hafiz Inuwa at Asaba for resolution. At the said meeting, the CP directed that both leaders, (The President General of ECIU and the Monarch, Eruvwedede III) should work in synergy and call for an enlarged stakeholders meeting on the need to reconstitute the new vigilante after easing the movement and gathering restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. And that the old vigilante should be disarmed forthwith. Surprisingly, this directive by the CP to the DPO, A-Division, Ughelli was ignored. It was rather twisted by the same DPO, who was at the meeting, for whatever gains or plans and nothing was done till date.
The old (disbanded) vigilante members are still carrying out killing spree in the kingdom and causing unnecessary tensions unchecked. People have started leaving the kingdom for safety elsewhere.
While waiting for the government to ease the lockdown so that an enlarged stakeholders meeting could be held to thrash out the issue of the vigilante, an attempt was made to assassinate Engr Dr Samuel Adjogbe, FNSE, the immediate past Executive Director, Projects of NDDC who is a cousin to the President General of ECIU, Mr. Bright Adjogbe. In the attack where his Lexus 570 SUV was riddled with bullets, one of his drivers (who was a passenger in the vehicle) was not so lucky as he was shot in the head. He is still recuperating from the injuries he sustained from the attack.
Based on the assassination attempt, Engr Dr Samuel Adjogbe wrote a petition through his lawyer to the DPO of A-Division, Ughelli, CSP Kelvin Zuokomor and nothing was done. A second petition was addressed to the Area Commander, Ughelli Area Command, ACP Lawan Shinkaffi, which led to the arrest of one Mr Hero Ifaka and the second suspect, Mr Stephen Atiri, escaped arrest. The matter was later transferred to the Delta State Police Command, Asaba. Acting on the strength of the second petition, two police officers were detailed from Asaba with a letter to effect the arrest of the suspect, Stephen Atiri, who escaped the first arrest.
On the 1st of July, 2020, the two Police officers from Asaba first reported at A-Division, Ughelli to inform the DPO of their mission wherein some more policemen were added to them for their mission to Evwreni kingdom.
On getting to the kingdom to arrest Mr Stephen Atiri, one Mr Tuesday Okwa, the head of the disbanded vigilante that ought to have seized to function based on the CP’s earlier directive, and Monarch, Eruvwedede III, resisted the arrest of Stephen Atiri by mobilising some armed thugs that made the arrest impossible. Sensing danger, the police team retreated to A-Division, Ughelli.
However, on discovering that the attempt to arrest Stephen Atiri was as a result of the petition Engr. Samuel Adjogbe wrote, which was transferred to Delta State Police Command, Asaba, the armed group comprising of the monarch, Stephen Atiri, Tuesday Okwa and other members of the disbanded vigilantes went on rampage and murdered Sylvester Adjogbe in a cold blood, in front of a shop where he was sitting harmlessly, along Uwotie Street, in Evwreni and other people wounded.
Of important note is Mr Akpuruekpo Omamurhovwun who was shot and seriously wounded, reported to be in coma, got resuscitated and treated at Central hospital, Ughelli but was later transferred to Asaba on the 8th of July, 2020. Others that were equally wounded during the rampage could not go to the police station for fear of victimization by the monarch and the killer vigilantes in the kingdom.
Recall that prior to the assassination attempt on Engr. Samuel Adjogbe, on the 22nd of March, 2020 to be precise, a day after the NEC meeting of ECIU was held at Evwreni, the kingdom recorded the first attack from these vigilante men, where several indigenes were shot and wounded and Mr. Akakor Omoghene is still missing from that attack. This was reported to the Delta State Police Command, Asaba but nothing has been done till date.
Every passing day, the kingdom witness one form of attack or the other on hapless innocent indigenes of the kingdom by the monarch and the disbanded vigilantes. The incessant attack on the indigenes of Evwreni kingdom in recent time is worrisome and most unfortunate.
We are therefore, calling on the Inspector General of Police to carry out a thorough investigation into the assassination attempt on Engr. Samuel Adjogbe, the killing of Mr Sylvester Adjogbe, the missing Akakor Omoghene and other sundry crimes across the kingdom. We also call on all relevant authorities and peace loving people of our land including other traditional rulers, to urgently find a permanent solution to this situation that is threatening to throw the kingdom into another round of crisis. We cannot afford another crisis in Evwreni kingdom because the 20 years ago unfortunate incident is still fresh on our memories.
Signed for Evwreni Clan Improvement Clan:
- Mr. Ighorodje Oghene Joseph (Secretary General)
- Prince Diemueta Ukpohwo (Assistant Secretary General)
- Mr. Edewor Ogunu (Treasurer General)
- Mr. Dodo Andrew (Financial Secretary General)
- Mr. Cyril Amaihwe (PRO)
- Mr. Ogbokor Stephen (Social Secretary General)
- Barr. Mrs. Oghenevwede Uwuseba (Legal Adviser)
- Mr. Moses Etabuko (Auditor)
- Prince Kenneth Ukpebitere (Ex Officio)
- Mr. Philip Ovie (Ex Officio)
- Mr. Young Abodo (Ex Officio) (Ex Officio)