Date Published: 08/05/11
Armed Cops ransack Monarch's Palace
A contingent of policemen today(Aug. 5) besieged the palace of top monarch, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya in Owerri, Imo State capital allegedly on the orders of the state governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha.
The armed policemen numbering about 30 were said to have stormed the palace of the royal father to recover property said to belong to the state government. They ransacked the palace of the natural ruler and reportedly took away three cars from the monarch’s garage.
The press aide of the traditional ruler, Mr. Kennedy Eweama confirmed the incident. He said the police manhandled the gateman and the chief of staff of the monarch.
According to Eweama, ‘They bundled the duo into their vehicle and would have gained entry into the main house but for its being under lock and key’.
Eweama revealed that as the policemen were unleashing mayhem at the residence, the monarch who is currently in Abuja was alerted. He said the traditional ruler linked up with the governor who vehemently denied sending the policemen.
The press aide explained that the royal father does not have in his custody any property of the state government adding however that he still uses his official car which Okorocha allowed him to go home with.
But the spokesman of the governor, Mr. Ebere Uzoukwa said those who stormed the palace of the monarch were members of the state taskforce on recovery of government property. According to him, the taskforce has been appealing to those in custody of government property to return them.
He added that the taskforce did not err by going to the monarch’s palace to recover government property if he had not complied with the directive to return public property in his custody.
According to Ebere, the taskforce has every right to storm anywhere government property is illegally kept to recover them.
But the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), Imo State chapter has condemned what it termed the embarrassment and humiliation meted out to Eze Ilomuanya by the agents of the state government.
In a statement signed by its state chairman, Dr. Vitalis Orikeze Ajumbe, the party submitted that the monarch does not deserve such embarrassment and humiliation.
It advised the governor to rather settle down to the business of governance than listening to negative advice.
It recalled that Eze Ilomuanya was removed from office unlawfully and instead of going to court to seek redress, he chose to adopt diplomacy to obtain justice.
Eze Ilomuanya was until June 6, the chairman of the state council of traditional rulers. He was sacked by Gov. Okorocha via a broadcast aired on state-run television and radio channels.