Dr. Samuel Adjogbe, an engineer and a former Executive Director of Projects of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), is a native of Evweni Kingdom in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State which has been rocked by crisis for years on the account of the tussle over the headship of a group in the kingdom and the existence of a vigilante group.
In this piece, Adjogbe responds to some claims made against him in the crisis and said an attempt was made on his life.
The claims attributed to HRH Oghenekevwe Owin Kumane and CP Hafiz Inuwa, Delta State Commissioner of Police, in a report published on Saturday, November 28, 2020, are a figment of their own imagination as they do not reflect the facts with respect to the killings, terrorism, vandalism, arson and the wanton destruction of lives and property in Evwreni Kingdom.
Ordinarily I wouldn’t have responded, but in order to put records straight, I have decided to make these clarifications. Meanwhile the matter is still under investigation.
The true position of things is that I and members of the entire Adjogbe family as well as persons perceived to be loyal, close, linked or associated to us have become targets marked by a disbanded vigilante group to be killed, terrorized, our properties vandalized and/or wantonly destroyed with the aid, cover and protection of the police in Ughelli A- Division and the Delta State Police Command because I supported my cousin, Mr. Bright Adjogbe, who contested and won an election into the office of the President General of Evwreni Clan Improvement Union (ECIU) as against Chief Collins Udi, the preferred candidate of HRH Oghenekevwe Owin Kumane in October 2019.
The monarch and his group (formed into a Peace Committee) delayed the swearing-in of the elected President General of ECIU, Bright Adjogbe, from 26th of October to 1st of December, 2019 during which time it was alleged that they tried to upturn a victory that was freely and democratically given by the entire indigenes of the kingdom as represented by the delegates from 15 branches and other standing committees, as required by the ECIU constitution.
Whereas in 2016 when I supported the monarch’s candidate, Hon. Ohare Victor, over Chief Eric Osharode and Ohare won, there was no crisis, but in October 2019, when I supported another candidate (my cousin) contrary to the monarch’s preferred candidate, the monarch said I wanted to take over the kingdom.
In the ensuing crisis, one Omoghene Akakor and Sylvester Adjogbe (my youngest brother) were killed on the 22nd of March 2020 and 1st of July 2020 respectively for no just cause.
Those allegedly funding the killers to terrorize perceived enemies are well known and currently being investigated by the relevant authorities.
Despite reporting the two killings to the Ughelli A-Division and Delta Police Commissioner, they failed to make any arrest or commence any form of investigations into the two killings. Even the attempt to assassinate was swept under the carpet and was tagged herdsmen’s attack.
This caused me to petition the Inspector General of Police (IGP) requesting him to transfer the case to Abuja for unbiased and thorough investigation.
This I believe is the reason for the public outburst of CP Inuwa as you could see from his purported comments in the report in the national daily aforementioned.
It is pertinent to mention that after the elections and the inauguration of the National Executive Council of the Evwreni Clan Improvement Union (ECIU), on the 21st of March, 2020, a National Executive Council meeting of the union was held in the Eni Hall in the heart of the kingdom.
At the said meeting, decisions to move the kingdom forward were taken. One of such decisions was the immediate inauguration and swearing-in of the various Chairmen of Committees and their respective members. They include the Town Planning/Building, Health, Education, Works, Agriculture, Civil Defense/Security (Vigilante), Social and Marriage committees.
While the other committees are functioning, the newly inaugurated Civil Defense/Security (Vigilante) committee was not allowed to function, instead the disbanded group continues to hold sway. This is the genesis of the internal crisis rocking the kingdom that has led to loss of lives, missing persons and wanton destruction of properties (houses and cars).
In trying to resolve this impasse, the leadership of ECIU and the monarch, accompanied by some of his chiefs, were invited to a meeting twice by the Area Commander, Ughelli Area Command, ACP Lawan Shikaffi.
The current Chairman of Ughelli North Local Government Area and the DPO of A-Division Ughelli, CSP Kelvin Zuokomor also attended those meetings.
Although, I attended one of such meetings at the instance of Kaide Kumane, who is an uncle to the monarch I told everyone in the meeting that could not sit on an alleged murderous case. This was when Omoghene Akakor was alleged to have been killed and his body hidden.
When the issue could not be resolved amicably between both parties, it was referred to CP Inuwa in Asaba for resolution.
At the said meeting, the CP actually directed that the President General of ECIU and the monarch should work together and call for an enlarged stakeholders meeting on the need to reconstitute the new vigilante group after ease of movement and gathering restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
He also directed that the old vigilante be disarmed.
Surprisingly, however, this directive by the CP to the DPO, A-Division, Ughelli was ignored.
In all the meetings, I was not invited (except the only I attended after Kaide Kumane pleaded with me to intervene), perhaps, because I am not one of the ECIU exco members or a chief of the kingdom.
It was my cousin, Bright Adjogbe, who is the President General of the ECIU, that CP Inuwa is mistaking for me.
As of today, the old (disbanded) vigilante members are still operating in the kingdom, even as it is alleged that they are terrorizing people and causing unnecessary tensions. These alleged acts are said to be causing natives to flee.
While waiting for government to ease COVID-19 lockdown so that an enlarged stakeholders meeting could hold to thrash out the issue of the vigilante, an attempt was made to assassinate me on the 20th of June 2020, when my Lexus 570 SUV was riddled with bullets along the East-West Road within the Evwreni segment and one of my drivers was not so lucky as he was shot in the head.
Consequently I wrote a petition through my lawyer to DPO Zuokomor of A-Division, Ughelli but nothing was done. A second petition was addressed to Area Commander Shinkafi of Ughelli Area Command which led to the arrest of one Mr. Hero Ifaka but the second suspect, Mr. Stephen Atiri, escaped arrest.
The matter was later transferred to Asaba. Acting on the strength of the second petition, two police officers were detailed from Asaba with a letter to arrest Atiri.
On the 1st of July 2020, the two police officers from Asaba, led by ASP John Agbajie, first reported at A-Division, Ughelli to inform the DPO of their mission wherein more policemen were deployed for their mission to Evwreni Kingdom.
On getting to the kingdom to arrest Atiri, the vigilante group that ought to have ceased to function based on the CP’s earlier directive allegedly resisted the arrest. The police team retreated to A-Division, Ughelli before returning to Asaba.
However, on discovering that the attempt to arrest Atiri was as a result of the petition I wrote, armed men were allegedly ordered to go into the community and kill anyone bearing the same surname as me, ‘Adjogbe’. The armed group allegedly went on the rampage and gruesomely murdered Sylvester Adjogbe (my youngest brother) in cold blood in front of a shop, opposite his own mother’s family compound where he was sitting along Uwotie Street in Evwreni.
One Akpuruekpo Omamurhovwun, who was an eye witness of the killing, was captured by the armed group and seriously wounded. Others that were equally wounded during the rampage could not go to the police for fear of victimization by the armed group in the kingdom.
Recall that prior to the attempt on my life, on the 22nd of March 2020 to be precise, a day after the NEC meeting of ECIU was held at Evwreni, the kingdom recorded the first attack from the armed men during which several natives were shot and wounded and one Akakor Omoghene killed by the assailants and his corpse taken away.
His corpse is still missing from that attack. Though the killing of Omoghene was reported to the Ughelli A-Division Police Station and the Delta State Police Command, Asaba, the Ughelli A-Division Police Station and Delta State Police Command failed to investigate the case.
Daily attack on natives of Evwreni Kingdom in recent time is worrisome while the police have failed to carry out any form of investigation.
On the 10th of October 2020 after the demise of Mr. Tuesday Okwah, some people allegedly linked to the disbanded vigilante allegedly went on the rampage, terrorizing the kingdom (especially the entire Okpawha community), chasing away natives and burning down their properties, including houses and vehicles.
This attack was reported to the Ughelli A-Division Police Station and CP Inuwa, but till date, they have failed to investigate the issue.
If Inuwa was serious about investigating and bringing perpetrators of violence in Evwreni to book, when the case of the murder of Sylvester Adjogbe was not transferred back to Delta Command, he would have at least thoroughly investigated and prosecuted those who carried out the crime of terrorizing Evwreni natives and burning down houses and properties on the 10th of October 2020.
CP Inuwa was alleged to have stated the following in the newspaper report, “Engr. Samuel Adjogbe’s sudden accumulation of wealth makes him feel he can buy over/control any officer of the law to commit/ perpetrate mayhem in Evwreni community with reckless abandon”.
He also stated that he has not met me and so does not even know me, so, at what point did I approach him directly, indirectly or through anyone, with the intention of buying him over to have him help me perpetrate mayhem or any form of criminality in Evwreni Kingdom? Don’t forget, I was a successful engineer before my appointment as Executive Director of Projects in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 2016.
From this position of CP Inuwa, it is evidently clear that he has taken sides against me, even when my brother was gruesomely murdered and brought to the A-Division in Ughelli in the pool of his blood yet he is not willing to do anything that will expose and/or punish alleged perpetrators of the violence in Evwreni as the alleged perpetrators are well known.
Let it be known that what may have aggravated CP Inuwa is the fact that I escalated a case to the level of the IGP which led to the transfer of the case to Abuja for investigation.
But then, at the moment, everyone is patiently waiting for the outcome of the on-going State CID investigation on the arson case in Evwreni under the watchful eyes of the same CP. At least, that will be an acid test of his genuine intentions or not. I appeal to the CP to do the needful and bring the alleged perpetuators to book without further delay.
Also, HRH Kumane has tried to change the narrative by alleging that I want to dethrone him. That assertion is totally false. His problem with me started when I successfully supported my cousin, Mr. Bright Adjogbe, for the position of President General of Evwreni Clan Improvement Union against Chief Udi who the monarch supported.
Thorough investigation will reveal every aspect of the story.
In addition, HRH Kumane was quoted to have said the following: “My father was killed on January 20, 2000 at Evwreni; they shot him dead in the palace at about 3.pm.
“After shooting my father, they tied him to a motorcycle and dragged him around the community. “Those who did it were the same Samuel Adjogbe group because it is the same quarter in the community; they are dragging the kingship…He points at a former Executive Director (Projects) of the NDDC, Engr. Samuel Adjogbe, an indigene of Evwreni community, as orchestrating the crisis in the kingdom. “He further accused him of plotting to dethrone him to take control of the kingship, the entire Evwreni community and its vigilante group to assume traditional power and authority over the people.
“The youths were complaining, amongst others, Mr. Samuel Adjogbe’s hijack of IPPS contracts from existing contractors using his company, Fidcom Strength Security Limited… Mr. Samuel Adjogbe who, with the aid and support of a DIG, is the architect of both the remote and immediate cause of the unrest that rocked our client’s kingdom, using the above underline named individuals to perpetuate mayhem and acrimony in Evwreni Kingdom”’.
No party to killing
In response, I was not in Evwreni when the monarch’s father was killed and I was not a party to the killing. I never supported or encouraged the killing of the late monarch or anybody for that matter and so HRH Kumane’s allegations against me are tantamount to calling a dog a bad name in order to hang it.
Clearly, HRH Kumane is on a revenge mission, as if it was only his father that was killed in that unholy and avoidable crisis. Because of the reported killing of the father of HRH Kumane, over 50 innocent indigenes of Evwreni Kingdom were murdered in cold blood about 20 years ago, and because he was a young boy then, he may not know the true story.
The allegation that I am the one orchestrating crisis in the kingdom and plotting to dethrone HRH Kumane to take control of the kingship is also laughable as it is a very big lie fabricated to undermine my personality because, while I was the Executive Director, Project of NDDC, I used my position to develop and beautify the entire kingdom irrespective of the community I hail from. So, I cannot be a party to its destruction. And after holding an exalted position of an EDP of NDDC, what will I do with the control of a mere kingdom of four communities?
It is pertinent to mention that I am not from the royal family and so cannot be a king in the kingdom to warrant me struggling for the kingship in the first place. It is a well-known fact that the kingship in Evwreni kingdom belongs to the Otioghare Royal Family and only persons from the linage can be legitimate kings and I am not from the Otioghare Royal Family to warrant me laying claim to the throne as alleged.
On the appointment of vigilantes, the constitution of the Evwreni Clan Improvement Union gives the incumbent President General and his exco the rights and powers to set up and appoint people into the Security/Civil Defense also known as Vigilante committee in the community. Again I am not the President General or a member of the ECIU Executive Committee to warrant me taking over the vigilante group as alleged by Kumane.
Consequently, all the allegations against me by Kumane and Inuwa in the said publication of November 28, 2020 are false, concocted, fictitious, imaginary, make-believe, fabricated and untrue to smear my reputation which I have struggled to build over the years. Therefore, I believe that, at the end of the investigation being conducted in Abuja, the whole truth would be established and all those involved and behind the current terror, killing and destruction of properties in Evwreni Kingdom will be exposed and brought to book.
Vanguard News Nigeria