The office of the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Abuja has absolved a former member of House of Representatives, Prince Ned Nwoko of allegations of intimidation and harassment of some persons in Idumuje-Ugboko community in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State over a lingering land dispute.
This was the outcome of a police investigation, following a petition to the IGP, written against Prince Nwoko by some members of the community including one Mr Chris Aligbe and others, all indigenes of Idumuje-Ugboko.
The petitioners in a letter dated 6th August 2020, had alleged among other things that Prince Nwoko, a lawyer and businessman, had in the past four years unleashed terror on the community, particularly against a claimant to the throne Prince Chukwunonso Nwoko “for not allowing him to take over peasant farmer ancestral land”.
But, according to the report released by the office of the IGP Monitoring Unit, Force Headquarters, Abuja, signed by Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP A. A. Elleman, Ned Nwoko in 2000, “applied for a parcel of land in the Idumuje-Ugboko community, which was approved “and” from available documents, the application was processed and endorsed with the consent of the then Obi of Idumuje-Ugboko kingdom, HRM Obi Albert Nwoko 111, now late, where 33.4 hectares of land was given to him”.
The IGP report furthered noted that at variance with the complainants claim of land grabbing, Nwoko “through his company, (Linas International Ltd) requested for additional 90 hectares of land from the same community through the traditional council for the establishment of Golf Course and Sports university”.
The report also stated that after the request was considered, the community and Nwoko entered into Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) “which was signed by both parties and their representatives and thereafter the land was consummated, Certificate of Customary Right of Occupancy for same was issued to him by Aniocha North local government Area”.
“That, in 2016, the documents concerning the land transactions…became a subject of petition which was investigated by Delta State Police command and Ned Nwoko was exonerated, while Prince Chukwunonso Nwoko and Others were charged to court for the alleged offence of forgery.
“That in May 2019, Prince Chukwunonso Nwoko and ten others were charged to court for alleged conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism while “investigation could not reveal any act of terrorism against Ned Nwoko as alleged by the complainants,” said the report.
The report also debunked as false and baseless allegations of complicity between the police and Ned Nwoko to unleash terror on Idumuje-Ugboko and asserted that the community had been embroiled in long-standing land disputes and charges of acts of mayhem against some persons which are pending in different courts of competent jurisdiction which are not within the purview of the police.
“Thus, it is therefore recommended that, while the parties be advised to maintain peace and wait for the outcome of civil suits pending in courts, the complainants be charged to court for offence of making false statement to public officers with intent contrary to section 125 (a) and (b) of criminal code law,” the IGP report stated.