By Chuks Eke
Prophet Ikenna Ezejiaku, General Overseer of Mountain of Yahweh Synagogue Church, Okpanam in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta state has at last fled Delta state and ran to Anambra state, his own state of origin for the safety of his life and that of his family members.
This followed a serious threat he alleged to have received from a billionaire businessman from Ibusa, Chief Fred Ajudua and his suspected thugs.
Speaking to newsmen at his home town, Umuhu village, Okija in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra state where he had run for safety, Ezejiaku said he was forced to relocate to Okija with his family members as a result of the volume of threat issued to him by Ajudua and those he identified as his thugs.
According to the Prophet, “before now, I did not have anything in common with Ajudua. I am from Okija in Anambra state and he is from Ibusa in Delta state. It is just that about 15 years ago, I bought some plots of land at Okpanam in Delta state, built a residential home and also erected some structures therein to establish my synagogue”.
Because the plots of land which I bought directly from their owners measuring 100 x 100 feet each, I still had enough space left to build a cathedral and other structures for my synagogue after building my residential home in a corner and some temporary structures where I am presently using as my church and a prayer house, pending when I will get some money to erect a cathedral.
But sometime in 2015, Ajudua stormed the synagogue with those I suspected to be his thugs and demanded that I should pay him N10 million for each of the plots or be prepared to vacate the land for him because according to him, the land belongs to him and his kinsmen from Ibusa.
Initially, I took Ajudua’s threat to be a joke because I knew that he is from Ibusa, while I acquired the land genuinely from its rightful owners who are from Okpanam. So, I ignored the threat on the ground that I didn’t have the money to give to him.
But to my chagrin, he stormed my church again late last year with those suspected thugs and a caterpillar and started pulling down all the structures I erected as my prayer houses, including my gigantic church hall which had reached to a lintel level as at then.
“As if that was not enough, Ajudua hired some labourers and started digging foundation on top of the demolished church hall and above all threatened to eliminate me if he dares see me there the next time he would visit the place by himself”.
“At this stage, I had to flee Okpanam to Okija, my home town because an adage says it is only a tree that will hear that it would be cut down and still stand the same place”.
“I have reported this matter to the Delta State Police Command and the police summoned Ajudua who came and told the Investigating Police Officer, IPO, one Supol Duru of the state X-Squad that the land belonged to him and to Ibusa people and not Okpanam people”.
*Ajudua further told the police that Ibusa people have a Supreme Court judgement in their possession against Okpanam people many yduears ago with respect to the land but when the police asked him to produce a certified true copy of the supreme court judgement as an evidence, he could not do so for a reason best known to him”.
He said he had equally written a petition to the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, the Director General of DSS and other relevant agencies to come to his rescue as according to him, he was reliably informed by the neighborhood that Ajudua had assigned his suspected thugs to monitor his whereabout regularly and report back to him for prompt action.
But in a brief reaction, Ajudua told newsmen on phone that he does not even know anybody by that name Prophet Ikenna Ezejiaku not to talk of taking over his landed property from him.
According to Ajudua, “I don’t know anybody answering Prophet Ezejiaku and I didn’t take any body’s land. However, if anyone said I took his or her land forcefully, he or she should feel free to go to the court or to the police to recover it from me. That is the much I can say for now”.
He however admitted that he tried to recover a communal land from those who acquired them wrongly.
Meantime, Awele Sawyer, one of those from Okpanam who claimed ownership of the land and who admitted transferring the deed of ownership to Prophet Ezejiaku, said Ajudua has no business foisting himself into the land.
Sawyer who stated that the location of the land in question is very far from the boundary between Okpanam and Ibusa, adding that Ajudua is just holding his shoulder high because he has his wife as a member of Delta state House of Assembly and an In-law who is in charge of the state Ministry of Lands.
The Delta State Police Public Relations Officet ber, PPRO, Bright Edafe, told newsmen on phone that though he was not yet aware of the matter, if the case has actually been reported to the police, it must be properly investigated.