Abia govt establishes panel to probe traditional ruler over alleged abuse of office

The Abia State government has set up a Board of Inquiry to look into accusations of misconduct levelled against some traditional rulers in the state.

This follows the suspension of the traditional ruler of the Ibom Isii autonomous community in Arochukwu LGA, Eze Kanu Nwa Kanu, by the Abia State government two days ago for alleged abuse of office.

The Board of Inquiry, which has Justice Igbo Akomas (Rtd) and Mrs. Gold Dynoh as the Chairman and Secretary, respectively, was sworn in in Umuahia on Friday by the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, Uzor Nwachukwu.

The Commissioner, while inaugurating the board, said their mandate included summoning and interrogating all affected traditional rulers in the course of the investigations, making relevant recommendations to Governor Alex Otti, and assessing suitable sanctions.

Nwachukwu said the report of their findings should be turned in within three weeks.

The commissioner further clarified that the state government was not targeting anyone but only taking steps to “ensure that the integrity of the traditional institutions in the state is maintained”.

The Chairman of the Board of Inquiry expressed gratitude to the Governor for entrusting them with the task, saying the task would be executed diligently in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Other members of the Board of Inquiry include Eze Linus Mba, Eze Nelson Nmerengwa, and Mrs. Nkechi Ikechi.

Eze Kanu of Ibom Isii was suspended lately through a letter signed by the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, Uzor Nwachukwu, for allegedly abusing his office.

In the meantime, some kinsmen and other backers of the suspended traditional ruler have denounced his suspension by the state government, saying that the suspension was an intrusion into their culture.

The backers, who staged a solidarity march in support of their suspended king, alleged that he was being oppressed.

One of the backers, who identified himself as Nwa Mazi, said that an alleged severe decision was taken without giving the monarch a fair hearing.

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