The Imo State Police Command has resolved to probe the traditional ruler of Assa autonomous community, HRH Eze Emmanuel Assor over alleged embezzlement of about N76m appropriated by Waltersmith Petroman Oil Company Ltd for community development projects
The monarch is also currently undergoing investigation over his alleged failure to execute a road contract awarded to him by Seplat, one of the oil companies operating in the oil-rich community.
The community alleged that the traditional ruler became negligent in the execution of the road contract after he reportedly frittered away the first paid milestone contract sum of about N120m for the construction of parts of the only major access road to the area.
Former Police PRO, CSP, Micheal Abattam, now commander of the Scorpion unit investigating the matter has directed the monarch to make additional statements covering the weighty allegations.
While fielding questions, the petitioners, Mr. Moses Ogbuji and David Egbula dismissed the monarch’s succession to the traditional stool by a cast of lots as anti-cultural and anti-traditional.
They alleged that former state governor, Rochas Okorocha devised the alien succession process as part of his political contraptions to favour some of his allies to help him garner grassroots support for his political ambitions.
When grilled, the monarch admitted he was not among the Ezeship stool contenders who played the game of luck but his late half-brother, Obinna Assor whom the petitioners said the monarch exploited through the backdoor to ascend the throne.
The monarch said while the cast of lots exercise lasted, he was away pursuing a hereditary succession plan to the throne occupied by his predecessor and late father, Eze Alexander Utiti Assor.
However, the monarch vowed to resign from the throne if found culpable of the allegations stacked against him.
Specifically asked whether the contentious game of luck was the community’s cultural or constitutional means of succession to the traditional stool, the monarch tersely responded, “it was by circumstance”.
Yet, the petitioners are demanding the monarch’s resignation from the throne to enable the community foster peaceful co-existence for unity and development.
They also insisted that issues of embezzlement are factual and verifiable. And that succession by a cast of lots to their traditional stool was, hitherto, an alien system built on quick sand that can never survive either cultural or legal adjudication.
“By our extant culture and traditions, succession to our traditional stool was never through the instrument of a cast of lots, heredity or rotation but by indication of interest by worthy individuals”. the petitioners averred.