By Chukwudi Ndubeze
The embattled Traditional ruler of Nawfia Community in Njikoka Local Government Area, Anambra State, Igwe Chijioke Nwankwo has dispelled reports that a new traditional ruler was elected in his community.
Nwankwo claimed that the reported election of Shadrach Moguluwa as the new traditional ruler of the community was untrue describing it as an activity of the opposition bent on causing trouble and disquiet in the town.
Igwe Nwankwo said this while briefing a team of journalists in his country home, Thursday, stressing that on no account should an election be held to impose another traditional ruler on a community whose traditional ruler is still alive.
Recall that an election was held in the Nawfia community on 26th March 2021 where Shadrach Moguluwa was crowned the new Igwe of the town even when the state government had written a letter to the community canceling the planned Igweship election in the town.
According to the letter dated 25th March 2021, the cancellation was necessitated by petitions before the state government alleging violation of the town’s constitution and laid down procedure for Igweship selection.
Nwankwo continued that the people, purported to have held the election are being challenged in the court because they came in through an illegal constitution. He claimed that the election did not portray the interest of the community or the town.
He claimed that a high percentage of the community is disappointed with the purported election “because they know that the election was illegal.” Igwe Nwankwo said he is patiently watching the government’s reaction to the illegal election in his community.
Igwe Nwankwo, reiterating that the traditional stool of Nawfia is not vacant, maintained that it is illegal for any group to think of organizing an election when the court has not taken a decision on the issue bothering on his removal. “The traditional stool of Nawfia is not vacant because the suspension/Withdrawal is still being challenged in court and there is a restraining order.
He further stated that it is taboo in Igbo land for a town or group to elect another Igwe while the incumbent is alive.
Restating the illegality of the 2013 constitution drafted by B.E.I.Nwofor Esq in 2013 which was used for the said election, Nwankwo said any constitution that is not signed by the incumbent traditional ruler is null and void citing Section 12 of the Anambra State Traditional Law.
” let it be known that there is no legal NPU in Nawfia pending the determination of Suit No NN/ 48/ 2020 for the determination of Fraud committed in 2013 against the people of Nawfia through a kangaroo constitution.
” Igwe Nwankwo is challenging his Suspension/Withdrawal of certificate in Suit No: A/ 273/2020 for his fundamental human right and Suit No: A/ 53/ 2021 asking for the interpretation of 2007 Traditional Ruler’s law if due process was followed by this law.
“It is imperative to know that as far as these cases challenging the Suspension/ Withdrawal of Certificate of Igwe Nwankwo, he remains the Igwe Nawfia,” he said.
Speaking on the state government’s silence on the election despite its order for cancelation, the traditional ruler said: ” I don’t think the government would have done anything, the only thing we are waiting for is to find out how the government will entertain them. If the government allows them to go to the local government which is the first prerequisite of recognizing a traditional ruler, then we will know they are taking side.”
On the involvement of the Igwe Ralph Ekpeh, the traditional ruler of Enugwu-Ukwu Kingdom at the purported election, the embattled Nwankwo said the case has gone beyond the traditional leadership institution of Nawfia stating that Igwe Ralph Ekpeh has committed a taboo by working with the opposition group to enthrone monarch on his fellow traditional ruler.