Eze Aro Tussle: Police Leaps into Fray, Drags ‘Crowned ‘ King to Court on Alleged Impersonation
Court Grants Kanu Idei Bail on Self Recognition
The tussle over the kingship of Arochukwu Kingdom in Abia State has taken a new dimension of legal battle following the arrest and arraignment of the Mazi Godwin Kanu Idei at an Umuahia Magistrate Court on Monday, January 8.
Mazi Kanu Idei was said to have been “duly crowned the king of Arochukwu Kingdom” by the Ibom Isii kingmakers last November but his kingship is being challenged by Pastor Eberechukwu Orji, whose supporters regard as the Eze Aro designate.
However, the crowning of Mazi Kanu Idei is yet to be recognised by the Abia State government hence the police on Friday, January 5, 2024 arrested and clamped him into detention for allegedly parading himself as Eze Aro IX.
The monarch was subsequently arraigned in a Magistrate Court on three count charges bothering on impersonation, false representation and engaging in conducts likely to cause breach of peace in Arochukwu kingdom.
In the charge No. U/03C/2024: Commissioner of Police Vs Mazi Godwin Kanu Idei, read before Chief Magistrate Onwutuebe Madu, the prosecutor, C.C Nwaobilor, Esq outlined the offences allegedly committed by the monarch.
In the first count, Mazi Idei was alleged to have on January 1, 2024 at Oror village in Arochukwu “conspired with others now at large to commit felony to wit: personation and conduct likely to cause breach of peace”.
The alleged offence, according to the prosecutor, is punishable under Section 516A(a) of the Criminal Code, Cap 80, Vol 3 Laws of Abia State of Nigeria 2005.
In count two, the defendant was accused of breaching Section 484 of the Criminal Code of Abia by “falsely representing himself as Eze Arochukwu Kingdom with intent to defraud members of the public”.
The third count has to do with Mazi Kanu Idei’s new year message titled “New year speech by Eze Aro, Mazi Godwin Kanu Idei and appreciation to all Umu Aro Okeigbo and Arochukwu Kingdom Worldwide”.
According to the charge, the online publication made by Mazi Kanu Idei where he presented himself as the Eze Aro IX of Arochukwu Kingdom was likely to incite the people of Arochukwu Kingdom into breakdown of law and order”.
This alleged offence was deemed to be punishable under Section 249(d) of the aforementioned Abia State Criminal Code.
After the charges were read, Mazi Kanu Idei was granted bail on self recognition on the sum of N100,000 with two sureties on like sum, while Chief Magistrate Madu adjourned the case to February 2, 2024.
Speaking with journalists after the court proceedings, the defence counsel, Jude Nwaokoro, said that the bail granted his client was a signified “democracy in action”.