Stop parading as Ezi-Irete traditional ruler, Police warns Ibe

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The Imo State Police Command has warned Mr. Joseph Uzoma Ibe to, henceforth, desist from parading himself, acting, functioning or engaging in any activity as traditional ruler of Ezi-Irete autonomous community in Owerri West LGA, stressing that Ezi-Irete has never been approved by any government as an autonomous community. The warning further stated that he (Joseph Uzoma Ibe) has never been recognized as a traditional ruler by the state government and that the so-called approval letter for coronation he has been brandishing was issued in error by the immediate past Secretary to the State Government.
This warning was issued on Thursday, August 27, 2020, after a thorough investigation by its State Intelligence and Investigation Department in response to a petition with reference number, CR/3000/IMS/X/D8/Vol.128/215 dated May 29,2020, filed by the traditional ruler of Irete Autonomous Community, HRH Eze Ethelbert C. Ekwelibe (Agubiam I), alleging that one Joseph Uzoma Ibe had been impersonating and parading himself as a traditional ruler in his community, an act which had the potentials of dividing his community and possibly usher in unrest.
The Imo State Police command had invited the traditional ruler of Irete autonomous community, HRH Eze Ethelbert C. Ekwelibe and the accused, Mr. Joseph Uzoma Ibe to inform them of the outcome of the petition lodged with them.
Speaking to newsmen on the development, HRH Eze Ethelbert C. Ekwelibe informed that he had petitioned the police when he had heard that Mr. Joseph Uzoma Ibe was planning to crown himself as traditional ruler of Ezi-Irete “autonomous community” of which he was convinced that the said Joseph Uzoma Ibe had not become a traditional ruler, neither has Ezi-Irete been approved by any government as an autonomous community.
This, Eze Ekwelibe said, led him to petition the police against Joseph Uzoma Ibe and after which Mr. Joseph Uzoma Ibe signed an undertaking never again to parade himself, act or engage in any way as a traditional ruler within Irete autonomous community.
The Irete monarch regretted that some youths of Ezi-Irete following the impersonation of Joseph Uzoma Ibe had on June 20 tried to force a youth election of their own which turned violent in disregard for the authentic Irete youth’s election of June 6,2020 that produced Mr. Emmanuel Akuebionwu as President.
The traditional ruler stressed that just as a community cannot have two traditional rulers, so also it cannot have two youth leaders, saying that he had earlier petitioned the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to ascertain the status of Ezi-Irete.
As they were informed by the Police, Eze Ekwelibe said, Ezi-Irete was indeed one of the proposed communities listed by the Imo State House of Assembly but which the state government has not yet approved.
Ekwelibe called on the general public to note that Irete autonomous community is not divided and that he is the only traditional ruler, President General is Prof. Andrew Igwenma, and his Secretary is Barr. Chidi Arindueme, Woman Leader is Mrs. Ruth Umah, Youth Leader is Mr. Emmaunel Akuebionwu and Traditional Prime Minister is Nze R.A Njoku.
He warned that anyone else ascribing any of the above positions to himself/herself is an imposter and risks being arrested. More so any person or organization dealing with any of them as officials of Irete autonomous community does so at his own risk.
Eze Ekwelibe also stated that everything that Joseph Uzoma Ibe had done as “traditional ruler” are null and void, including anyone he honoured with any title whatsoever as he never had any authority to perform such functions.
He said that only those he decorated remained valid as titled men in Irete autonomous community.
Also speaking, the President- General of Irete Community Development Union (I.C.D.U), Prof. Andrew Igwenma urged Joseph Uzoma Ibe to tow the path of peace as the Police had directed him to remove his Ezeship signboards and other materials purporting him as a traditional ruler, as Irete people want to continue enjoying the peace in their community.

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