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Police Probe Alleged Attempt to Dethrone, Kill Bayelsa Monarch
Olusegun Samuel in Yenagoa
The Bayelsa Police Command has ordered investigation into an alleged attempt to dethrone the Paramount Ruler of the Adiegbe Community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state, Mr. Benedict Thompson.
The alleged threat over his throne and subsequent threat to kill him was over his attempt to stop some few individuals in the community from diverting monies from oil companies into private pockets.
Thompson, who is a fourth class traditional ruler, in conjunction with the Community Development Committee (CDC) leadership, had few months ago raised an alarm over the alleged impersonation of his person and CDC leadership to divert royalties meant for the community from the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and the Darlon Oil and Gas Nigerian Limited.
The paramount ruler and CDC have also dragged the identified individuals before the Ekeremor High Court and security agencies to desist and asked the oil companies to stop patronising them.
THISDAY gathered that the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ben Okolo, acting on a petition filed by HRH Benedict Thompson, has ordered an investigation into the allegation of unlawful possession of firearms, local warfare and conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace in Adiegbe community against Mr. Salvation Kano, Mr. Julius Kano, Mr. Selebi Sanuku and others.
In the petition dated January 4, 2023, and made available to newsmen at the weekend, Thompson alleged that the accused persons on January 1st at about 8 p.m. at Adiegbe community were armed with dangerous weapons including guns, machete and sticks threatened to kill him and later proceeded to a radio station claiming that “I have been dethroned and no longer the Amananaowei of the community.”
It was also gathered that one of the suspect that was recorded on mobile phone, threatened to beat up and kill the paramount ruler. Also recorded and tendered in evidence to police were claims by the former CDC chairman to also dealt with the paramount ruler, threatening that he should resign and allow them enthrone another monarch.
That as a fourth class stool of the Amanaeowei is a life stool as recognized by the Bayelsa State Government and by the virtue of the Chieftaincy laws of Bayelsa state, 2017 as amended,” after the government has recognised a persons as a chief, any other person who purport to install another person or allows himself to be installed as Chief in place of the person so recognized by government is a contravention of the law.”
He also accused one of the suspects, Salvation Kano, of specifically threatening to kill him and become the traditional ruler of the Adiegbe community, Oyakiri clan in Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state.
A senior police source confirmed to newsmen that the State Commissioner, Ben Okolo, have directed that an investigation be conducted and those mentioned in the petition invited.
Contacted on the development, HRH Benedict Thompson, confirmed the petition filed before the Bayelsa Police Command, insisting that his effort against cases of impersonation, illegal diversion of community funds and threat of violence is to keep together family unity and evolve a communal system that would promote peace and promote inclusion of each families in the community as beneficiaries of empowerment and development.