Re- Ogwashi-Uku Spineless Ultimatum to Admiralty University Ibusa on Change Of Address

Re- Ogwashi-Uku Spineless Ultimatum to Admiralty University Ibusa on Change Of Address

…Ibusa Might Be Forced to Enforce the Supreme Court Judgment on Ubu River Natural Boundary between the Two Communities

By Nwankwo T. Nwaezeigwe, PhD

Part 2

In dealing further with the spineless ultimatum issued to Admiralty University, Ibusa by the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku, one fact becomes clear to the marrow of historical truth.

And this historical truth is that the people of Ibusa have better and stronger historical and legal grounds through the Supreme Court-affirmed Ubu River thesis to claim the entire Ogwashi-Uku town as their ancestral heirloom, than the fabulous claim to Admiralty University by Ogwashi people.

Indeed it has been established from the proceedings of the 1962 cases— Suits Nos B/44/62, B/46/62 and B/47/62 that Ogwashi-Uku claim over Ibusa land cannot be sustained even by the facts of the evidence led in court by her traditional chiefs. As the trial Judge pointed out in his judgment:

“It was difficult to know the land which Chief Mordi was discussing, and in any case it could not be the same land claimed by the plaintiffs. I can also not see how the land in the imagination of Udeh Iwenofu (DW1) agreed with that of Ihaza of Ogwashi-Ukwu, whom I am told was the Chief in charge of Odonkwu land. It is sufficient to conclude this portion of the judgment by finding and holding that I do not believe the evidence of these two witnesses with regard to their boundary evidence. Even their tenant, Jeremiah Okeke (DW5), righteously confessed ignorance of the boundaries of Odonkwu land. I am fortified in the view I have taken of the falsity of their evidence as it had no tangible bearing on the plans produced by them either in this or other cases against Ibusa people. I am far more convinced by the direct evidence of boundary given by the plaintiffs and which was borne out of their witness with regard to the entire area of Ani-Umuezemese area claimed by the defendants.”

It was in accordance with the above unassailable High Court decision against the people of Ogwashi-Uku that the Supreme Court concluded in its judgment in SC.32/1985:

“With that conclusion, it is therefore not surprising that the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and affirmed the decision of the High Court dated 22nd February, 1980. Accordingly I will also dismiss the Appeal dated 10th July, 1984 with N300.00 costs to the respondents.”

In fact, one fundamental question the British Judge asked the people of Ogwashi-Uku in the 1935 Suit was, why was it that the people of Ibusa you call your slaves are located on more protected, more watered and more fertile land than Ogwashi-Uku people, their supposed master? Till date the British Judge and the elders of Ibusa who were party to the case are still waiting for the answer in their graves.

The truth of the matter is that the people of Ogwashi-Uku and their leaders back to pre-colonial days were aware that the land on which they occupied belonged to Ibusa through the people of Ikelike Village, who today are the undisputed customary aborigines of the town; and not Adaigbo from Nri, as erroneously being propagated. Adaigbo was an itinerant Nri ritual agent and immigrant who once lived with his kinsmen Edini and Ezekeke—founders of Ogboli Village, Ibusa, in Ani-Udo settlement, situated between Ibusa, Asaba and Achala-Ibusa.

The people of Ikelike were once living south of Ibusa along Umueze Ibusa-Olodu axis with Aboh people known as Ihum. Because of their constant quarrels with Ihum people, Ibusa forced Ikelike people to move further West to the location of Iyi-Ada Stream to act as a check to the expansion of Ubulu people; where they eventually settled to found the present Ogwashi-Uku town. Their original location was the present Akwu-Ikelike farmland in Umueze Quarters, Ibusa.

So the claim that Ikelike people migrated from Benin is a fabulous fabrication founded on petty local Hamitic hypothesis which cannot be sustained in modern canons of historical scholarship. The basic question which the proponents of this petty local Hamitic hypothesis have not answered is, in what language is the word “Ikelike?” Is it Edo or Igbo?

The Aboh people of Ihum were later dispersed by Ibusa people after an Ibusa man died in the course of a wrestling contest. Those related to Ikelike through mother and marriage decided to join the people of Ikelike, while those related to Ibusa by marriage and through their mothers preferred to stay with the people of Ibusa. Those that eventually joined Ikelike founded the present Umuokwe Village, Ogwashi-Uku, which included Aboh-Ogwashi. On the other hand, those who preferred to stay with Ibusa people founded the present Umudiokolo Village in Ezukwu Quarters, Idumu Otigbu and Idumu Igba Villages in Umuekea Quarters.

It therefore follows that if at all Ibusa people have the need to contend with the people of Ogwashi-Uku over land, it should specifically be with the people of Ikelike Village, Ogwashi-Uku and no other Village or group of the town, not even with the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku. The reason is obvious. The people of Ikelike constitute the primary tenants of Ibusa while the other people with Obi Ogwashi-Uku constitute what could rightly be defined as secondary tenants to Ibusa. It is therefore a historical truism that Ogwashi-Uku history is constructed on a shifting sand of cloudy tradition of origins coloured in pompous ignorance.

 There is therefore no gainsaying the fact that the Supreme Court Ubu River Boundary thesis is constructed on a solid concrete historical foundation. In other words, if the people of Ogwashi-Uku believe that their history started with Ikelike people whom they erroneously claim to have migrated from Benin, to the people of Ibusa, Ikelike people were of pure Igbo origin like the people of Ibusa and their history started from Ibusa. This therefore places the entire Ogwashi-Uku town on the historical saddle of Ibusa ownership. Unfortunately for the people of Ogwashi-Uku, it will be very difficult to retell this aspect of their history because it has already been estopped by the Supreme Court. The fallacy of one man from Nri called Adaigbo founding Ogwashi-Uku town has been perpetually established on the pages of Supreme Court proceedings.

This truth about Ogwashi-Uku history was indeed diluted in pre-colonial times through the construction of a web of filial relationships through inter-marriages with the people of Ibusa. Through this web of filial relationship, Ibusa people had always acted as customary protectors of the people of Ogwashi-Uku and their kingship. Indeed it is difficult to see a village in Ibusa without one or more filial relationship without Ogwashi-Uku. It is not therefore only about Umu Obi Obahai or Okonjo but a fact spread over the entire Ogwashi-Uku community with even some villages and kindred claiming direct paternal origin from Ibusa.

Indeed if I decide to base this exposition on sentiment alone, I would readily side with Umu Obi Dei because of my filial relationship with Prince Ogwu, the immediate younger brother of Obi Izediuno, who married my maternal grandmother’s cousin, Madam Ogbo from Ogbe Aho, who later became Ada-Ogbe Aho, whose mother and my grandmother’s mother originated from Umuokwe Village, Ogwashi-Uku. My mother Elizabeth not only lived with her at Ogbe Nti-Obi and her first son Jacob as a young girl, but tended my days in her womb under her care since she was an expert native gynecologist and midwife.

In fact, the idea of Ogwashi-Uku people contending with the people of Ibusa over land only came up first, as a result of the emergence of the British Colonial administration as overriding political authority, otherwise under pre-colonial situation, Ogwashi people would not have dared to lay claim to an inch of Ibusa land. The second reason for the on-going land was an attempt by Obi Izediuno to retaliate against Ibusa for her support and protection of Umu Obi Obahai whose mother hailed from Ibusa, to which the present Okonjo family belongs, against Umu Obi Dei who produced Obi Nzekwue, Obi Ezewani, Obi Izediuno and Obi Felix Izediuno.

It is important to inform His Royal Highness Obi Ifechukwude Aninshi Okonjo II that he is occupying that throne today by the grace of Ibusa people who gave his forefathers unqualified protection against Umu Dei assaults. And this explains why his late father His Royal Highness Obi (Prof) Ben Chukwuka Okonji, who perfectly understood this episode of the history of Okojo family, insisted that he— Obi Ifechukwude Aninshi Okonjo should get his present wife from Ibusa, in appreciation of that historical role Ibusa people played in the protection of Okonjo family.

I was privileged to have personally interacted frequently with Obi (Prof) Chukwuka Okonjo then at University of Nigeria Nsukka as a young lecturer at Prof Okeibunor’s office then at the Centre for Demographic Studies, where he visited frequently before his wife eventually transferred to Enugu State University of Science and Technology. His knowledge of this part of his history was as faultless as it remained indelible in his memory. I was also privileged to have interacted with Chief Ralph Uwaechue, the erstwhile President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, who was equally related to Obi Obahai family over this aspect of Ogwashi-Uku history, whose understanding of the pivotal roles of Ibusa in protecting the Umu Obi Obahai Royal Family remained incontrovertible.

The fact cannot be denied that both Nwawume the first son of Obi Obahai and Emordi his second son who later begot Okonjo were smuggled to Ibusa by their mother when their lives were threatened by Obi Dei, where they lived protected by Ibusa people until their coming of age and subsequent death under unfortunate circumstances on their attempts to reclaim the throne.

When Obi Dei died and his son Obi Nzekwue took over the throne, the people of Ibusa supported Okonjo Emordi; an action which prompted Obi Nzekwue to ally with the British who eventually confirmed his authority. In fact one major allegation Obi Nzekwue advance against Okonjo Emordi which led to his subsequent arrest, treason trial and sentence at Calabar Prisons with the likes of Obi Chidi of Umuosodi Village, Umueze Ibusa and Obi Uwaechue of Umuezeokolo Village, Umuodafe Ibusa, was that he was the chief collaborator of Ekumeku Warriors from Ibusa.

But most importantly is that when Umu Obi Obahai and Uwaechue families fled from Ogbe Nti-Obi to found Ogbe-Ofu Village, their present location along Isele-Azagba road, to escape Obi Nzekwue’s murderous onslaught, and Nzekwue wanted to invade them in 1909, it was Ibusa that warned Obi Nzekwue not to do so, otherwise there would be a total war. The Umu Obi Dei thus had always seen the people of Ibusa as their enemy.

It was in advancement of this hatred of Ibusa people for their unrelenting overt support for Umu Obi Obahai family that one of Obi Nzekwue’s supporters called Nwabuzo nwa Iyogolo murdered an Ibusa man called Mazogi in 1909. Mazogi was returning from Ubulu-Uno where he had gone to purchase some seed yams when Nwabuzo nwa Iyogolo lured him into his house in the name of giving water and subsequently murdered him in cold blood. Nwabuzo nwa Iyogolo was eventually chased, apprehended and sentenced to death by the British Colonial Government following an ultimatum from Ibusa people who threatened war. That episode eventually gave rise to Ogbo Nwabuzo Age-Grade in Ibusa.

Obi Izediuno who was three years old at the time grew up to see Ibusa as the enemy of Obi Dei royal family, hence his attempt to appropriate Ibusa land with the possible support of the British Colonial Government. In truth therefore, the present land dispute was not based on historical right of ownership by Ogwashi-Uku people but an open land robbery attempt aimed at causing Ibusa people to pay for their unrelenting support for the children of their daughter.

Could it therefore be right to say that His Royal Highness Obi Ifechukwude Aninshi Okonjo II is biting not just the finger but the breast that fed him and his forefathers? The answer is perfectly in the affirmative. If His Royal Highness Obi Ifechukwude Aninshi Okonjo II is not aware of the history of Umu Obi Obahai family in relation to Ibusa, he is now properly being informed.

 The truth of this history remains, without Ibusa there would have been no Obi Okonjo today. One can go against the finger that fed him and goes scot-free but not so with the breast that fed him. The Umu Obi Obahai family of Ogwashi-Uku was fed by the breast of an Ibusa woman, and any attempt to go against the spirit of that woman will be a customary disaster on their part.

One fact His Royal Highness Obi Ifechukwude Aninshi Okonjo II should understand is that he is on the said throne today courtesy of the historical magnanimity of Ibusa and not the Supreme Court Judgment of November 21, 2021 which was presided over by Justice Mary Odili. Is it not therefore a mockery of the powers of the Supreme Court for someone whose kingship was legitimized by the Supreme Court to turn around and disregard three succeeding Judgments of the same Supreme Court on a land dispute, just because he has an elder sister who sits at the World Trade Center as Director General and as such has the powers to influence Supreme Court Judges? Let those who live in glass house not throw stones.

To be continued.

Nwankwo T. Nwaezeigwe, PhD

Odogwu of Ibusa Clan

Leader, International Coalition against Christian Genocide in Nigeria (ICAC-GEN)

Website:          Email:

Date: 29 November, 2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *