Insecurity: Peace Commission suspends Anambra Palace Secretary indefinitely

The Anambra Truth, Justice and Peace Commission has directed the immediate and indefinite suspension of Mr Shadrach Okenwa, the Palace Secretary to Igwe Chidubem Iweka of Obosi, Idemili North Local Government Area.

The commission gave the order in a statement issued after a public hearing on the causes of insecurity in Anambra communities in Awka on Tuesday.

The ATJPC was constituted by Gov. Charles Soludo in June 2022 to inquire into the violent agitations and restiveness in the state and in neighbouring states.

The commission, chaired by Prof. Chidi Odinkalu with Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu as Secretary, in a statement signed by Odinkalu, said an Anambra High Court, sitting in Ogidi and presided over by Hon. Justice Arinze Akabua, on March 16, 2017, entered a judgement against Okenwa and others for the shooting and killing of Obiesie Anaekwu on December 5, 2012.

In the case, with suit no. HID/MISC.30/2013 between Mrs Ifeoma Helen Anaekwu and Obiesie Michael Anaekwu vs. State Security Service and 11 others, the respondents included Okenwa, sued as Igwe Iweka’s palace secretary.

“The court found 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, leading to injury and trauma to the first Applicant and the death of the second applicant.

“This finding of fact by a competent court of law remains in force and has not been set aside, so the suspension takes immediate effect.”

The commission said it was surprised that over six years after this specific finding of fact by a court of law, Okenwa continues to hold the office as Igwe Iweka’s Palace Secretary.

“His continued occupation of that office is an avoidable source of distrust in the community as well as disobedience to a court judgement,” it said.

The commission said Igwe Iweka, in sworn testimony before it, consented to the suspension order on Okenwa in the terms ordered by the commission and would transmit the letter effectuating the suspension.

The commission called on Igwe Iweka to transmit the letter of Okenwa’s suspension from the office of Palace Secretary to its Secretariat within 48 hours.

In his testimony, Igwe Iweka said insecurity and killings in Obosi were a fallout of a combination of cult gang fights, hard drug dealings, and animosities relating to his ascension to the throne in 2012.

He said Obosi had become so unsafe that he had escaped four assassination attempts while many had lost their lives, including the immediate past President General of the town.

He said he had waged war against drug and narcotic trafficking in the area but had not received the desired cooperation from the institutions responsible for checking the crime.

Other testifiers from Obosi decried the abandonment of the White Paper on the Obosi Administrative Panel of Inquiry submitted in 2016.

They said the implementation of the recommendations of the white paper would address, to a large extent, the crux of the matter of Obosi insecurity.