The Anambra Truth, Justice, and Peace Commission (ATJPC) has mandated the immediate and prolonged suspension of Shadrach Okenwa, the secretary to Igwe Chidubem Iweka of Obosi in Idemili North LGA.
Following a public hearing on the causes of insecurity in Anambra communities in Awka, the commission released a statement containing the directive.
Governor Charles Soludo established the ATJPC in June 2022 to investigate the violent agitations and unrest in the state and neighboring regions. Chaired by Chidi Odinkalu, the commission includes Bianca Ojukwu as the secretary.
As stated in the statement signed by Mr. Odinkalu, the ATJPC revealed that on March 16, 2017, the Ogidi Division of the Anambra State High Court, presided over by Justice Arinze Akabua, issued a judgment against Okenwa and others for the shooting and killing of Obiesie Anaekwu on December 5, 2012.
The case, identified as suit number HID/MISC.30/2013 between Ifeoma Helen Anaekwu and Obiesie Michael Anaekwu vs. State Security Service and 11 others, named Mr. Okenwa (referred to as Mr. Iweka’s palace secretary) among the respondents.
According to the statement, “The court determined as a fact that the named respondents, including Mr. Okenwa, were indeed present at Nkpor Junction on December 12, 2012, during the attack and shooting of the applicants, resulting in injuries and trauma to the first applicant and the death of the second applicant.”
The commission emphasized that this factual finding by a competent court of law remains valid and has not been overturned; thus, the suspension takes immediate effect.
The commission expressed surprise that Mr. Okenwa has continued to hold the position of Mr. Iweka’s palace secretary more than six years after the court’s specific factual determination.
“His continued occupation of that office creates unnecessary distrust within the community and constitutes disobedience to a court judgment,” the statement declared.
The commission stated that Igwe Iweka, in his sworn testimony before the commission, consented to the suspension order on Okenwa in accordance with the commission’s terms. It was noted that he would transmit the letter implementing the suspension.
Furthermore, the commission urged Igwe Iweka to send the letter suspending Mr. Okenwa from the position of palace secretary to the commission’s secretariat within 48 hours.
During his testimony, Igwe Iweka attributed the insecurity and killings in Obosi to a combination of cult gang conflicts, drug trafficking, and animosities related to his ascension to the throne in 2012. He revealed that he had escaped four assassination attempts, and many lives had been lost in Obosi, including the immediate past president general of the town.
The ruler expressed his efforts to combat drug and narcotic trafficking in the area but expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of cooperation from the institutions responsible for addressing the issue.
Testimonies from others in Obosi lamented the neglect of the White Paper on the Obosi Administrative Panel of Inquiry, submitted in 2016. They emphasized that implementing the recommendations of the white paper would substantially address the core issues related to insecurity in Obosi.