Irked by what they called “Embezzlement of our community money by Dan Njoku, Ukachukwu and the Rest,” Umuebulu women in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State numbering about 100 have led a protest march to the Rivers State House of Assembly (RSHA). The aggrieved women delivered a protest letter titled, ‘Save Our Lives from Dan Njoku and Men of the State CID’ to the State Assembly, Moscow Road, Port Harcourt, on Monday. The letter signed by 21 women on behalf of others, alleged that N8,000,000 Eight million naira paid by Saipem company to the community for compensation of damaged access roads was embezzled by one Ukachukwu Njoku. He was also accused of selling community owned land and using the proceeds to make case against the community. The protesters under the auspices of Umuebulu Women Coalition further alleged that the said Njoku has been intimidating the community with indiscriminate arrests and detentions.
The group led by Mrs. Glory Okere and Dr. Princess Jennifer Spiff, Coordinator Women Initiative for Transparency and Social Justice also accused the Njoku family of arresting and detaining 15 Umuebulu Community youths, since September, 2012 for opposing his claim as paramount ruler of Umuebulu and challenging him on the community monies he forcefully seized.
Our correspondent who monitored the protest, reported that the women were carrying placards with various inscriptions, such as “Umuebulu Cannot Be Owned by One, But 5 families”, Save Our Souls from Children of Late Sunday Njoku”, and Ukachulwu Njoku is fighting the community with fraudulent compensation, amongst others.
The protesters were received on behalf of the Assembly by the Director of Press, Mr. Tams Dede who thanked the women for being peaceful in carrying out their protest. The press Director promised to forward their petition to the appropriate quarters for prompt action.
When The Newswriter contacted Dan Njoku for comments, he denied all the allegations, accusing the women (protesters) of vowing to deal with Sunday Njoku’s family. He boasted that the elders of the community are on his side.
On the allegation of embezzling N8m, Dan said he did not collect any money belonging to the community and challenged the women to produce evidence to back up their claim.
He also denied that there is any chieftaincy tussle in the Umuebulu community, pointing out that the only problem is that Ukachukwu Njoku who is supposed to be the paramount ruler of the community has not yet buried his father and its against the law in Etche tradition ####