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SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

ADAZI-ENU, THE IGWE- IN-COUNCIL AND THE ELDERS

SPEAK ON THEIR SON REV. FR. MIKE EZEATU.

In recent weeks and months, there have been many malicious prints and online publications attempting to tarnish the good name of our son and priest, Rev.Fr. Mike Steve Ezeatu. Some of those newspapers have made many false claims and allegations against Fr. Ezeatu and have cited Mr. Olisa Ezeatu and Mr. Arinze Ezeatu as sources of those malicious publications.
We, the Igwe-in-Council of Adazi Enu Town in Anaocha L.G.A, are the custodians of Customs and traditions in our community. We hereby make the following statements regarding those claims and publications;
i.    The recent problem in Ezeatu family came to our knowledge when Mr. Celestine Ezekwonna (a member of their kindred {Umuihuoma}came to our traditional Ruler: Igwe A.O Okpalaechelu (Obi Okotu II) and begged him to accompany them to Ogidi High Court where they were defending a lawsuit made against them by Hon. Joseph Ezeatu who happened to be a half- brother to Mr. Olisa Ezeatu, Fr. Mike Ezeatu and Mr. Arinze Ezeatu. The court case against Mr. Celestine Ezekwonna and his corroborators was as a result of an excommunication letter which they purportedly wrote in the name of Umuezekafor extended family against Hon. Joe Ezeatu. (Umuezekafor extended family is a small kinfolk comprising Ezeatu family, Ezekwonna family, Okafor family, etc.) 
ii.    At the court, Celestine Ezekwonna and his co- defendants brought up the issue of land dispute in Ezeatu family, which the kindred had already settled judiciously. However, Olisa, Arinze and their deceivers refused to abide by the resolution of the kindred. Following this development, the presiding judge; Hon. Justice Okaa asked the traditional ruler (Igwe Obi Okotu II) to intervene in the matter by helping the Ezeatu family in resolving their issues in the traditional way.
iii.    Following the request of Justice Okaa, the Igwe-in-Council deliberated on the matter and gave their ruling on the 18th day of January 2014. After the Council resolutions, the parties appreciated the Igwe-in-Council and agreed to end the lawsuit. Days after those resolutions and agreement, the Ezekwonna group came back and informed the Igwe that they have decided to continue with the lawsuit of excommunication. On June 30,2014 the court found them guilty and penalized them with fines.
iv.    Later on Saturday, 11th day of October, 2014 the Igwe-in-Council completed their assignment by allocating lands to each male child of late Alfred Ezeatu according to our customs. In that sharing of land, Fr. Ezeatu has only one lot.
v.    Their claim in the newspaper publications that Fr. Ezeatu "has grabbed all their land" is false. Instead, Olisa and Arinze are those encroaching on the only plot of land that we rightly assigned to Fr. Ezeatu after deliberating on their complaint, and according to our customs.
vi.    In the course of our deliberation, we learnt that Olisa and Arinze had in 2012 written a very malicious petition against Fr, Ezeatu to the Bishop of Awka Diocese. Awka Catholic Diocese deliberated on the petition for months and gave their verdict. Part of Awka Diocese written verdict reads, "Olisa Ezeatu and Arinze Ezeatu were reprimanded for bringing up matters without merit to the Bishop against their brother, they were advised to go back and abide by the decision of their kindred with regard to the sharing* of their late father's property"
vii.    We use this Opportunity to thank the office of the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese for taking the time to address the allegation of Olisa Ezeatu and Arinze Ezeatu against their brother Fr. Mike Ezeatu. “We read your verdict and are proud of your fatherly approach. We regret that Olisa and Arinze, chose to disrespect your office too, in a complaint that they themselves asked you to mediate ”
viii.    Some weeks ago, Olisa and Arinze were quoted in some newspaper publications as eye-witnesses in an incident alleging that Fr. Mike Ezeatu "beat up a 70 year old man (Mr. Innocent Nwolisa) to coma". Awka Diocesan Fides (March 20- 26, 2016 page 18) investigation found the whole allegation to be false. According to the report, Olisa and Arinze didn't even attend the funeral where the alleged encounter was said to have taken place. Yet, they claimed to be eye-witnesses, and use the publications to portray a very bad image of Adazi-Enu and its many illustrious children.
ix.    Recently, Olisa and Arinze Ezeatu have continued with their attitude of not complying with any decision from any institution. They, with those confusing them have resorted to attempting to destroy the good name of Fr. Ezeatu (their brother) through spreading of lies without referring to any of the decisions on the matter (such as the decisions of “'Ezeatu family, their kindred (Umuihuoma), Awka Diocese, Anambra State High Court, and Igwe-in-Council).
x.    In the sharing of their father's property, Fr. Mike Ezeatu received a much lesser share, which he graciously accepted in good faith. Yet, Olisa and Arinze have chosen to show themselves as stubborn and disrespectful of everybody except those inciting them against their own brother.
xi.    It is now obvious to us that there is a particular group of persons that are intentionally using Olisa and Arinze against their brother, Fr. Mike Ezeatu. We also want to use this opportunity to solemnly ask such persons like Mr. Celestine Ezekwonna and his corroborators to stop deceiving and brainwashing the Ezeatu brothers. 

WE, THE IGWE-IN-COUNCIL HEREBY MAKE THE FOLLOWING SUBMISSIONS.
*    That Ezeatu family and Ezekwonna family do not have any land in common and therefore have no case. Moreover, the Ezekwonna family should leave the Ezeatu family alone and allow the brothers to live in harmony.
*    That Fr. Mike Ezeatu as a male child of his father, late Alfred Ezeatu is entitled to his own portion of their father's property.
*    That any attack on Fr. Mike Ezeatu based on this alleged land dispute, which we have fully deliberated on and settled, is an insult to our town, Adazi-Enu.
*    That Those people inciting and funding these kinds of malicious publications against Fr. Ezeatu should recognize the dishonor they are bringing to Adazi-Enu by spreading such lies against our Son, Fr. Mike Ezeatu.
*    That, on this issue of land dispute; we stand firmly with Fr. Mike Ezeatu against those who have chosen not to abide by any rules or verdicts from any institution.
*    That We encourage Fr. Mike Ezeatu to continue to represent Adazi-Enu in his ministry as a priest.

 


  • Comment posts by: Iyke Ofor - oforty23@gmail.com

    Great document, concise and precise. A sign of the wisdom of the elders. Thanks to Igwe and his Council.

  • Comment posts by: abuchi emmanuel - ejikeonyekwelu@yahoo.com

    the council really set the record straight. this means the other story was badly cooked

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