Anxiety in Ebonyi Muslim Community over Gov. Umahi’s appointments

  • NSCIA Leaders petition Ebonyi Govt, seek Police, DSS probes
  • Threatens legal action

There is growing anxiety among members of the Muslim community in Ebonyi State over an alleged act of impersonation and false usurpation of the office of the Vice President General and Chairman of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, (NSCIA), Dr. Haroun Ogbonnia Ajah in the recently constituted State’s Community Policing Advisory Committee, (SCPAC).

Recall that the Federal Government of Nigeria had recently approved and given a template for the constitution of two committees into the Nigeria Police Force which membership comprised of representatives of religious bodies.

Findings however showed that the Governor of the State, Engr. David Umahi had violated the Police Acts by illegally nominating into the committee, the Chairman of Ebonyi State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, one Engr. Abbas Egwu and a certain Mrs. Nnachi Aisha Isa as its members purporting it to have been the valid nominations of the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, NSCIA- the only body that is allowed by the law to nominate members into the said committee.

According to a petition protesting the alleged misconducts sent to Governor Umahi since September this year by counsel to the impersonated and copied to the various Security agencies in the State, it had pleaded with the State’s Chief Executive “to allow objectivism and patriotism to rule his sense of judgment to mitigate or forestall a would-be outbreak of hostilities, possible breach of peace as well as the grave failure in the good spirit of brotherliness among neighbours who are all residents of the same Ebonyi State as well as Moslem brothers and sisters.”

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“It is our client’s instruction that, the leadership of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) under the leadership of His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto and the President-General, our client through this medium protest the names on the list representing the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) in the Ebonyi State Community Policing Advisory Committee (SCPAC) No. 7 bearing “Engr. Abbas Egwu representing Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs”, (NSCIA) and Ebonyi State Community Policing Committee, (SCPC) No. 5 bearing “Mrs. Nnachi Aisha Isa representing the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs”, (NSCIA) on Thursday, being 13th August, 2020”, the protest letter stated.

The petition further informed that the protest is as a result of the fact that, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA representative in the State were not in any way consulted nor his or their opinion sought on who will be nominated and appointed in order to represent the NSCIA in the both Police committees.

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“It is also our client’s instruction that, the said Engr. Abbas Egwu and Mrs. Nnachi Aisha Isa did not in any way vehemently opposed nor protested that, they cannot represent the NSCIA with the rationale that they are not recognized, nominated nor appointed by the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, (NSCIA) to represent them neither at the Federal nor State level in anything concerning the Affairs of the NSCIA.

These above averments by virtue of the protest of our client can be justifiably calculated by God and nature to be a gross breach of socio-religious protocol and as such, could be taken and treated as conspiracy, manipulation, impersonation, imposition and false usurping of another person’s reckoned religious office”, the petition further averred.

It had consequently called on Governor Umahi and the copied Security agencies to launch a thorough investigation into the petition- an action which findings revealed have been executed and the facts established to be very true.

But the Ebonyi State government however ignored the hue cries and humble pleas of the leaders and members of the respective Islamic Association including a threat to initiate a legal action against the accused persons and proceeded to inaugurate them as valid members of the both Police committees.

The petitioner, Dr. Ajah who also doubles as the Vice President General/Chairman of the NSCIA in the South East, informed in an interview with newsmen that the accused persons and their accomplices have failed to hofnour Police invitation.

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Said he, “The entire Muslim community in Nigeria is unhappy with the actions of the Governor on this matter because he is the only one who nominated, encouraged and endorsed these illegal actions of the accused persons. Perhaps, he thinks this is one of those smart politics they play but it is far from it and I can assure the Muslim community in Ebonyi that we would get to the root of this manifest injustice and neglect for constituted Islamic authorities in our dear Ebonyi State and Nigeria in general ĺ.”

He further vowed that they would go ahead to challenge the said illegal actions in a Court of competent jurisdiction and would fight on till justice is done. “We shall do all within our best to seek redress in this matter so it doesn’t repeat itself and we have the full backings of the appropriate authorities to so do. However, we commend the Police and other security agencies for their roles so far in uncovering the whole truth about this matter”, he concluded.

In his reaction, the accused persons said

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