Abuja, Nigeria – Traditional ruler, elders and leaders of Amechi Awkunanaw and Amechi Uno have exonorated former Governor of old Anambra State Chief Jim Nwobodo and wife of the recent allegation of fraud by a US based doctor Cynthia Nwakobi.
Nwakobi had accused the couple of defrauding her of the sum of N132.5m through sale of lands in Enugu.
But in a joint press conference the leaders of the community said, at no time was Cynthia defrauded.
They acknowledged that Jim sold 6 plots of his land at the Sattelite estate to her at a total cost of N132.5 million.
“That before the transaction was concluded, Barr. Eli Ugwu, Cynthia’s lawyer, did conduct a search at the Ministry of Lands Enugu State and found the land was not in any way encumbered.
That over 60 plots of land had been sold and all the buyers took possession of their land without hindrance, including First Bank PLC and UBA PLC, both of whom developed theirs and have been offering banking services for over 10 years in the same estate unchallenged.
That Ministry of Housing Enugu State partnered with Jim Nwobodo in developing the estate, a Ministry that knows the status of all land in Enugu State. Archbishop Ede, the Archbishop of Methodist Church Enugu, and Bishop Nnaonah, a Methodist Bishop, both own properties in the same estate.
They said that Cynthia is free to possess and develop her land without let or hindrance.
They, however, expressed shock that the Enugu born lady cast aspersions a on the well earned reputation of the elder statesman and well respected leader in Nigeria.
The land in question, they said belonged to Amagugwu Amechi Awkunanaw Community which graciously ceded it to their illustrious son, Chief Jim Nwobodo, in the early 80’s while he served as the governor of old Anambra State.
“Jim had needed land to situate Satellite Newspaper and his people told him he did not need to buy land elsewhere; whereas, they had land to give him. They, therefore, graciously gave him the land.
“The then Amagugwu Amechi Awkunanaw comprised the present Amechi Uno and Amechi Awkunanaw. That was before the excision of Amechi Uno from the community and the conferring of autonomous status on it.
“Jim had held the title to the land for over 40 years and had sold plots to banks and individuals who had developed their plots without let. At no time had the ownership of the land been either in doubt or contention except on the occasion when a community in Akegbe – Amagu Ibite – laid claims to it and took the matter to court.
“They later withdrew the matter from the court in the understanding that it did not belong to them in the first place.
“The people of Amechi Awkunanaw and Amechi Uno had in 2021 issued a joint communique reiterating the fact that the plots of land at Satellite Estate all belong to Chief Jim Nwobodo.
That communique was published in the Sunday Sun Newspapers of November 14, 2021, page 29.
They noted that many sons and daughters of Amechi Awkunanaw, the original owners of the land, have bought and are still buying plots of land in the estate.
“Again, Chief Nwobodo donated a sizable portion of the estate to the Nigerian Electricity Company( NEPA), where they built a large substation that has been in operation for 20 years unchallenged. What then is special about the 6 plots Cynthia bought to merit her claims of fraud?
“No one knew what became of Cynthia Nwakobi when she from the blues petitioned the Nwobodo’s and her own lawyer and relation, Barr. Eli Ugwu, to the EFCC, alleging that Barr. Eli Ugwu connived with the Nwobodos to sell an encumbered property to her.
“Barr. Eli Ugwu had made himself available to the EFCC with documentary evidence of the transaction. Jim’s lawyers had also replied to the invitation of the EFCC line by line, clearing him of the false allegation. The EFCC thoroughly investigated the matter and found out that there was no case of fraud in the transaction.
“The land belongs to the Nwobodo’s who also acknowledged they sold it to her and that she has unhindered access to it. She had hired another lawyer, one Barr. Ugwu, who prepared documents for the transfer of title and those documents were fully signed. Her new lawyer was informed that the documents had been signed and ready for him to collect.
“After several weeks of failing to pickup the signed documents, he curiously petitioned the EFC alleging fraud. Thereafter, the EFCC found out that Cynthia and her new lawyer had misled them with false information, and had invited them to account for that and also collect the title documents.
“They abandoned the title documents and went into hiding. Cynthia’s copies of the land title documents are still with the EFCC, and neither her nor her lawyer has gone to collect them.
The people of Amechi Awkunanaw therefore asked her to desist from tarnishing the image of their illustrious father and statesman, Chief Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo, and his wife.
President of Amechi Awkunanaw Development Union, Chief Paul Agbo, said the land was not under any contention and that the woman was free to possess the land.
He said the community would protect her should there be any encroachment. He however frowned at her misguided attempt to tarnish the image of their father, Chief Jim Nwobodo.
He pointed accusing fingers at one John Egbo who had been the past president of the union as the one instigating the woman to her damaging false claims against the Nwobodo’s, having frightened and convinced her that the land was under litigation.
According to Chief Agbo, John Egbo and the deposed Igwe Ogbodo Okolie of Amechi Awkunanaw were the hands of Esau. He enumerated the many atrocities of the dethroned igwe sacked by the Enugu State Government.
The entire executive members of Amechi Awkunanaw Development Union corroborated their president and fingered John Egbo and Ogbodo Okolie as the ones nudging Cynthia to the path of infamy.
The secretary of the union, the financial secretary and the legal adviser all confirmed that the land belonged to Jim and was not in anyway encumbered.
They however warned they would not tolerate the defamation of their father for no just cause, warning that if Cynthia and her cohorts would not desist from tarnishing the image of His Excellency, Chief Jim Nwobodo, then they would have the entire Amechi communities to contend with.
The Igwe of Amechi Uno, His Royal Highness, Igwe D. I. Nnamani, also confirmed that the land belonged to Chief Jim Nwobodo. He said that Amagugwu Amechi Awkunanaw gave Jim the land about 40 years ago and that Jim had been in possession of it till date.
Chief Jim Nwobodo himself was grieved at such attempt by that woman to bring his reputation to ruination at his old age, and, therefore, gave her seven days to retract her damaging claims with apology published in a reputable newspaper in Nigeria and through the online newspaper she had published her defamation or risk one billion naira claim of damages.