By: Okosun Dennis
The traditional ruler of Udo Kingdom, in Igueben local government area of Edo state, His Royal Highness Imadojemu Amenbhagbe, has been arrested for alleged complexities, conspiracy and collaborating with Fulani herdsmen to attack Igueben Train Station in Edo state.
The Igueben train station on Itakpe-Warri line was attacked by terrorists on the 7th January, 2023 and kidnapped 20 passengers and two railway workers.
As a result of the attack, security agencies, including vigilante groups and hunters across the state were deployed and have been combing the bushes leading to the rescue of all the victims in batches according to the Commissioner of Information and Orientation, Hon Chris Nehikhare.
Also confirming the rescue of all the abducted victims, Police Public Relations, Edo State Command, SP Chidi Nwabuzor disclosed to our correspondent on Thursday that all the victims have been rescued.
However, a reliable source disclosed that investigation into the matter led to the arrest of the traditional ruler of Udo community.
It was learnt that the Onojie was said to have connived with some Fulani herdsmen to carry out the dastardly attack on a neighbouring community. HRH Amenbhagbe was said to have harboured the Fulani herdsmen in the forest against growing suspicion by inhabitants not to grant them unfettered access into their farmland.
He was said to be frolicking with them while they doll out huge sums of money and cows as compensation. Besides, it was gathered that the traditional ruler recruited some young men who are part of the vigilante group in the community who work with the Fulani herdsmen that have been terrorising the community.
Following the train attack, all his antics and secret deals became manifest as growing suspicion led to his arrest by the police and whisked to the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) where he is assisting the police.
Another source revealed that in an attempt to cover his baggage of lies and deceits, and to thwart any of the Fulani herdsmen from being arrested, he mobilized some of his cohorts among the youths to lead the Fulani herdsmen out of the forest through a bush path and escaped arrest.
With vast forest linking Igueben, Uromi, Ohorduwa, Ubiaja, the herdsmen were said to have escaped to safe heaven. Despite the deployment of drones to locate them within the forest, they couldn’t be detected within the forest.
However, as a motivating factor, before the terrorists struck, some young men, who are cohorts but loyal to the traditional ruler were paid N20,000 each with a zoo cow given to them for entertainment.
It was further gathered that HRH Imadojemu Amenbhagbe has proved to be a black ship among the Onojies in Esan land as they were said to have summoned him on several occasions when suspicion grew of his clandestine activities by granting unfettered access of their farmland to Fulani herdsmen to penetrate the forest which exacerbated spiralling kidnappings within Esan land.
Instead of honouring such invitation, he was said to have shunned them. An indigene of Udo who spoke anonymously with our correspondent said the traditional ruler is no respecter of anybody. “He smokes marijuana and talks to the subject without an iota of respect. If not he assumes the throne through hereditary rulership, he has no locus standi to become a king of a town like Udo.”
Following his arrest, tongues have been wangling as people are making different comments about the Onojie that has brought enormous shame to kingship in Esan land especially as “Onojies” are seen as “pure” and don’t soil their hands in any criminal acts.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that the Edo State Police Command has declared some of the vigilantes wanted for their involvement in the whole saga.
When contacted, spokesperson for Edo state police command, SP Chidi Nwabuzor said there was an ongoing investigation by the police and doesn’t want to jeopardize such process hence he preferred not to comment on it.