Idumuje Igboko is located in Aniocha, North of Delta State and bordered to the East by Idumuje-Unor, Ekpon or Akpu to the North West, Ohodua to the North East, Igbodo to the West and Onicha-Ugbo to the South.
Idumuje-Ugboko was founded in the 17th century. Historians are of the opinion that a core group of settlers led by Nwoko, his siblings and relations founded the community.
Idumuje-Ugboko is made of four villages. They are Atuma, Ogbe-Obi, Ogbe-Ofu and Onicha-Ukwu (Ogbe-Akwu). The four villages are reputed to have migrated from various towns and kingdoms in and around the present states of Delta, Edo and Ondo.
For instance, the Atuma village is said to have migrated from Owo, a town in present-day Ondo State, the Ogbe-Ofu from Emu, an Ishan speaking town in present-day Edo state, the Ogbe-Obi from Uzebu in the old Benin kingdom and Onicha-Ukwu from Onicha-Ukwu, a town in present-day Delta State. Among the four villages, the Onicha-Ukwu was the last of the villages to settle in Idumuje-Ugboko.
There are 16 Ebos and 24 quarters, commonly known as Idumu. The town is relatively known for its peaceful coexistence of his people since it was founded until thugs unleased mayhem on the community. After the mayhem, they left their trademark sorrow, tears and blood. The thugs were arrested and are currently facing criminal charges at the Federal High Court, Abuja
Chief Chris Ogwu is the prime minister of Ugboko, a former editor and retired journalist. He told this reporter how the incident happened. “Let me tell you, I was one of the victims of the mayhem. I was brutalized and my properties damaged by these boys. They abducted me and took me to the palace in front of Nonso where I was beaten up mercilessly.
“Between March 23rd and 26th, 2017, they unleashed mayhem on the Idumuje Ugboko community, attacked residents in their homes with guns, small axes, machetes, and sticks.
In the evening of 23rd of March, alarms were raised in the community by women and boys who were running helter-skelter and screaming.
“Upon stopping a few of them and asking what the problem was, it was learnt that thugs had invaded the residence of one Mr. Kennedy Nedu Iloh and had abducted him to an unknown destination. A search party made up of friends, family members and well-wishers later that night found and rescued him in the palace. His abductors had fled the scene on sighting his rescuers approaching their location’
“The next day, I, Chief Christopher Chukwuka Ogwu, the Iyase traditional prime minister of the Idumuje Ugboko Kingdom was seated in front of my house about 10 am when suddenly armed thugs attacked my home. They smashed the windscreens of two of my cars which were packed in front of my house – a Mercedes Benz 300 V-boot and a Toyota Camry (2.4cc). They entered the cars and stole some valuables such as telephones, cash, documents, etc. Meanwhile, I was abducted from my home to the palace grounds where I was ordered to lie on the grass after I had been thoroughly beaten up. Upon my return home, I found my home had been broken into and some of my valuables looted.
‘In continuation of these attacks, on the 25th and 25th, 21 other homes were similarly attacked at night with armed thugs roaming the community from village to village targeting homes of persons who supported the allocation of land to Lina’s International, a holding company owned by Prince Ned Nwoko who had applied to His Royal Majesty the Obi of Idumuje Ugboko for 90 hectares to build a sport university in Ugboko. His Royal Majesty (now late) was progressively inclined towards the university and had set up a 21-man land allocation of committee from amongst the membership of the Obi in Council (the official law making organ of the kingdom).
“I can tell you without mincing words that the thugs were sent to unleash the mayhem. At this time, Mr. Peter Bama was the chairman of local vigilante group set up in the community.
Also during the mayhem, Peter Bama’s home was one of those attacked. The thugs removed from his home some of the weapons and motorcycles which well-meaning members of the community had provided for the vigilante group. We reported the loss of the weapons and the motorcycles to the police who immediately gave assurance that they would investigate the robbery.”
Unfortunately, few months later, when a new vigilante group was launched in the community, the same supposedly lost weapons and motorcycles were released to them by the new tenants in the palace.
It would therefore appear that the palace harboured some of the items removed from victims’ homes. People have therefore drawn the conclusion that Prince Nonso sponsored the attacks but he had denied it in the past saying he did not send the thugs to attack anybody.
On the recent campaign of calumny against Prince Ned Nwoko, he said “those behind the said campaign want to divert attention from the criminal proceedings for murder and terrorism believing that if they raise false allegations against me I will tell the complainants to withdraw the matter in Abuja.”
The thugs are currently in Kuje prison because they couldn’t meet their bail conditions. They were granted bail of N50 million each.