He is just like a cat with nine lives. He miraculously survived three assassination attempts. Yet, he claims his life is still in danger. His offence is that he vowed to cleanse his community of all criminal elements, including drug barons who seem to have held his domain in the jugular for years.
Igwe Chukwudubem Iweka, Eze Iweka III of Obosi Kingdom in Anambra State, now lives a seemingly itinerant life as he hibernates in hidden abodes, just to save his life. His case has been worsened by allegations that a retired top police officer is aiding and abetting the attempts on his life. The author and dramatist bared his mind to Crime Guard in an exclusive interview.
How it all started
“I was crowned in 2011 after an election was held among the kindred called Umuezeagu family, who were at that time eligible to produce the king. I was the choice candidate from my kindred, while other kindreds presented their candidates. There were three of us at the election. I won with a landslide. Immediately after the election, one of the candidates instituted a law suit saying that he was the rightful person that should have been made king, yet, we had an election, which I won.
Before the election, all the candidates signed a document that we were satisfied with the panel that conducted the election and would accept the outcome of the election. So, it was a surprise and a huge shock to Obosi people when the suit came up. We found out the law suit was been sponsored by a man who at that time was a commissioner of police.
He claimed that he was supposed to be the king maker. Since then, he has been very antagonistic towards me, alleging that he is the Diokpa (Elder) of the family and as such, was supposed to crown me. After investigation, we found out that his father was the Diokpa and under no circumstance in the tradition of Obosi Kingdom does his son become Diokpa. Diokpaship rotates in the family.”
Fighting for drug kingpins
“Later, we found out that it was a ploy by him to fight on behalf of a certain man alleged to be the brain behind the notorious drug cartel ravaging our town.
Obosi people generally know that the now retired AIG who was a CP then, has been working for this suspected drug baron for a long time, covering him, giving him back-up to deal with the law.
They are the ones formenting most of the trouble in my kingdom. I have survived four assassination attempts, the fourth one was nipped in the bud before it came to fruition.”
Attempts on my life
“The first time, the assassins came to my palace in 2012 and fired automatic weapons, AK 47. They exchanged fire with my palace security details, shot one of my security men. In 2013, my convoy was coming back from the airport where they had dropped me on my way to Abuja. When they were coming back, because my SUV is tinted, they thought I was inside the vehicle and they started firing gunshots inside my vehicle.
The police man that was in front of the vehicle was shot in the arm, his arms were scattered with bullets. My car was sprayed with bullets. Again, in 2012, one of my security men, a man who claimed to come from Asaba, but was later discovered to be from Ebonyi State, was contracted to shoot me and we got the information from a criminal who came to pledge he will no longer be in criminality and that our vigilante should stop chasing him so that he would give us good information.
We made a statement to the police and policemen arrested and took him away. In 2014, although there were several crisis and lots of problems from the cultist, there was no attempt on my life, till 2015, on the 8th of June. Assassins again struck in my palace and fired gunshots. One of my security men was shot in the chest but he miraculously survived. I suspect strongly that the retired top police officer and the drug baron were behind these incessant attacks.
I don’t have enemies except these two men. They are after my crown. They are after my kingship and throne. This last attempt they made and failed, the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, came to my palace with his entourage. The Commissioner of Police and his deputy visited my palace. They also vowed to give me support and also to conduct proper investigation to ensure that the criminals are brought to book. The Local Government Chairman, Chief Idemobi, also came.”
Failed peace efforts
“I must state clearly that prominent Obosi people have called these two men to try to achieve peace in the community but they vehemently refused. They are always talking about me coming out to a hotel for them to discuss with me; that they will not come to my palace, which is not proper in Obosi Kingdom; for the Monarch cannot be removed to a hotel for peace missions. Whatever has to be done, we have tried our possible best to see what their problem is and see how we can broker peace and it is now beyond doubt that they will stop at nothing but to kill me.”
Gateway of drug cartels
“In 2010, before I became the monarch of Obosi, the same drug baron was a problem to the town. I can show you documents to prove that his boys were maiming people. He is into land grabbing. I can show you petitions from the Obosi Development Union from 2010 about how they killed people in the town. These documents did not originate from me. These are from the town records to prove that this man has been a problem in this town for long.
There is a proverb in Igbo land that says if you hide a disease, that disease will consume you. Some people like to hide the fact that there is a major drug trade in my town. The cocaine, heroine and mephaptemine trade in Obosi is tremendous. I give thanks to my friends in NDLEA. We petitioned NDLEA to remove the former commander because of cases of kidnapping in Obosi and then they brought the current one, Sule Momodu, who is working very well. He has been arresting all these bad eggs and prosecuting them.
“Obosi was described by one of the electronic media recently, as the gateway of drug cartels in the South-East. We cannot hide this fact. If we hide this disease, it will consume us. Because of the drug problem, the former DSS Commander, Alex Okeiye, did so much also to help to disseminate the criminality in the area. Two NDLEA officers who came to Obosi to make some arrest told me that in the order of zones, in terms of drugs, Obosi is number one in the country.
There is too much cocaine and heroin in Obosi Kingdom and that gave rise to junkies, drug addicts, roaming the town, stealing from people. So, we started going after them. We established a 25-man anti-drug squad, five from each village. 419 fraudsters are another problem that we have, and in the course of going after them, we were able to curtail the number of junkies.
Many were arrested while so many left town because of the pressure. They had never seen such arrest before. Many left town and the drug trade reduced to an extent and the drug barons are not happy about it. The man that owns the major drug trade in Obosi is not happy about it.”
My life in danger
“That explains some of these attacks. They want to take my life because they want it to be business as usual, to be able to do their drugs and 419. They use cultists in Obosi. They are the ones that encourage cultists to thrive in Obosi and at a time, boys were fighting each other as they belonged to different groups. In March last year, about nine people were shot, including a 49-year-old woman who knew nothing about cultism.
An interior designer who came from Enugu state was also shot. A pregnant woman was shot in the stomach because she resisted them from taking her bag. Eventually, they collected the bag and when they discovered that it was only N2, 000, they came back and shot her. Five people were killed in January and in the last one month, they have shot three people.
So, cultistism and drugs are the major problems. Governor Obiano established the local vigilante and anti-cult war which we appreciate very well. Also, the Commissioner of Police, Anambra established an anti-crime outfit and they have been performing brilliantly. They have been working like the FBI.”
Punishment for cultists and barons
“Most of theses cultists are youngsters who don’t have any properties. These are kids in their early 20s. We suspect they came into Obosi through drug dealers. The drug dealers should face the same punishment as the kidnappers in Anambra State. Though the police is doing a very tremendous work now by arresting them from wherever they are hiding.
That has made the town to be so quiet now, many are coming out to denounce cultism and we are hoping that a permanent anti-cult war will be stationed in Obosi so that this cultism will be a thing of the past. Drug has to be stamped out because it is the grandmother of all these crimes. It carries them on its head, on its back; all the criminal aspects are filled by the drug trade, because when a person becomes a drug addict, he becomes a useless person.
That person will stop at nothing to get a fresh dose of that drug when they need it. A drug addict will sell his belongings to support his habits. He can even pimp his daughter or wife, just to get a dose. That is why wherever drug enters, there is trouble. So, I think that first and foremost, that drug has to go. And that is what we are fighting and why these people are after my life because we are trying to break the drug cartel in town. So, I am using this opportunity to call on law enforcement agencies, NDLEA etc to step up efforts in fighting drugs. Cultism is already on its way out.”
Intervention by prominent people in the town
“People like Emeka Anyaoku have been very valuable. Anyaoku has done so much. He has contacted the Inspector- General of Police in the past over the issue. Even when DSS shot someone at Nkpor, these criminals went to Abuja and reported that the Igwe killed someone.
And police came to my palace to invite me to Abuja, but Governor Willie Obinao refused and said that whoever wants to take my statement should come to the Palace, that the Igwe is not running, and will not expect to be treated less like the Obas, Emirs because that is what we are in our own communities. Osita Chidi Akwa who is a member of my cabinet was highly instrumental in bringing back our security men who were falsely accused and dragged to Abuja, and they were languishing in the cell.
After the incident, DSS took the victim away. They also issued a statement in that regard. Yet, these criminals kept on deceiving the Police in Abuja that those people were kidnapped by me. These two persons helped to clear the air for the truth to prevail and even today, the same people are asking the DSS that they want to come and collect the corpse of their son.
Even after the DSS issued a statement, there was a law suit made by this same people trying to destabilise the town. They instituted a law suit that I killed two people, shot and took them away. Even after DSS was joined in the suit and made a statement and swore affidavit that they were in possession of them, the police were still coming to arrest me. So, the people doing these things are just a tiny minority in the town.”
Sanctions from government
“I also have the support of Anambra traditional rulers made up of seven local governments who have written a communiqué to the governor to protest this incessant assassination attempts on my life because from their investigation, they also know that I have the support of my people.
Since prominent men in the society, in Obosi Kingdom, have called severally on these two men to bring them to a peaceful resolution of all these attacks and they bluntly refused, there is no other way than for the government to investigate these two men and ask them why they are trying to kill me. Because they are the ones. If anything happens to me today, the government should go after them.“
Effect of the crisis
“Well, the community is losing because whenever we arrest a criminal, the retired top police officer will call the police to say that it is a false allegation and that the person should be released. He doesn’t know that he is hurting the community because the perpetuation of criminality in my town is partially because the criminals now have an umbrella to hide under.
It is most precarious that such a man would just for the purpose of destabilising a Monarch’s rule, be giving an umbrella to criminals. It is terrible. The only way is for government to bind them over, to sign undertakings pledging to be of good behaviour. My advice to the good people of Obosi is to assist the police, no matter whose ox is gored, and our people should endeavour to give accurate information to the police about criminality in their neighbourhood?
There is criminality even in their families so that we are able to fish out the bad eggs and make Obosi a better place. Many people have advised me, since they are shooting at you, why don’t you go out there and close the door, that traditional rulers are not to be fighting crime. That is not true. I can’t sit back and watch criminality take over my town and watch my town go into pieces. I have to fight it but I need the government to ensure that these two men are stopped from distabilising my town. People see Obosi as a troubled spot.”
My achievements
“My town is a semi-urban area. We don’t have communal land and for many years, that has caused a lot of trouble. After I was crowned, people who were deprived, intimidated even within their family, we looked into all these pressure and deprivation and injustice within the community and we started to work against it. That is one of my greatest achievements.
I have been able to protect the underprivileged and oppressed people who otherwise, would not have received justice. I have done enough in security. I can blow my horn really good in matters of security. I have made sure that our land has become calm and peaceful, to do with people, to do with humanity.
This ugly thing consumed my predecessor, Igwe Nwakobi, completely. In fact, it caused the removal of his staff of office. Now, they are trying to do the same thing and I said no. It is still the same people operating long before I became Igwe. What they did to him is what they wanted to do to me, but I said that I cannot be your puppet.”


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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