His Highness Obong Isaac David Ononsin, the Clan Head of Ikpanya in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, is currently cooling his heels at the facility of the Nigeria Correctional Service, Ikot Ekpene, for multiple charges bodering on murder, maiming and destruction of properties belonging to his subjects.
Ononsin, who was arraigned before the Magistrate Court, Uyo, on 7th August, 2023, is said to have masterminded the killing of a Primary School Teacher, Mr Essien Johnson and his 10 year old child, Ediomi, cutting off of the right hand of Idongesit, Mr Johnson’s first child, maiming other residents of the clan and razing down of several houses.
According to a petition dated 11th August, 2023, addressed to Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno; Akwa Ibom State Police Command, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, and other relevant authorities, wife of the deceased teacher, Mrs Bassey Essien Johnson, through her Counsel, S. S. Ebong Esq. of C. I. Odo and Co. Chambers, narrated that the “very callous, tyrannical and villain clan head” had instructed his gang of cultists codenamed ‘Uyio Idung’ to beat up her husband for harvesting palm fruits on his (deceased) plot of land.
The deceased was the headmaster of Presbyterian Church of Nigeria Primary School, Esit Ikpanya, Ibiono Ibom LGA.
The petition alleged that the clan head runs the 7 villages which make up Ikpanya without any village head and a clan council, and has for several years seized control of oil palm trees which he harvests and converts the proceeds for personal use.
The petition further narrated that the clan head, on the 21st day of July 2023, instructed the notorious ‘Uyio Idung’ cultists to “deal harshly” with the now deceased teacher despite having been beaten to pulp by the gang in June 2023 for harvesting palm fruit on his rightful plot of land.
The second attack resulted in the murder of the teacher and his son and maiming of members of his household.
A house belonging to one Sunday Joseph Ema aka Prophet was also razed by the gang, according to the petition. Ema sustained a serious machete cut as well.
The petition also alleged that the embattled clan personally supervised the attack on the Essien Johnson’s household.
“Our brief also shows that clan head Isaac Ononsin which has been very crazy about owning economic trees including palm trees at all cost, sometime in 2021 on the same issue of palm fruits, instigated interstate boundary dispute between Ikpanya Clan and Ugbo people in Arochukwu which claimed many lives and properties in Ikpanya, thereafter the government of Akwa Ibom State brought relief materials which the clan head hijacked instead of giving out the relief materials to the affected persons up till date,” the petition further reads.
The family of the deceased further alleged that the clan head has been bragging severally that he has the backing of the Paramount Ruler of Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, His Royal Majesty Edidem Ime Udousoro Inyang; the Akwa Ibom State Traditional Rulers Council, and the security apprariti of the state.
Meanwhile, Elder Fintan Asuquo Eno, a resident of the community, who lost his motorcycle to the assailants during the attack, has accused the police of shying away from arresting all the accomplices of the embattled clan head.
“The homicide department of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command has failed to live up to expectations. Apart from the detention of the clan head, other suspects including the notorious ‘Uyio Idung’ members who are still at large must be brought to book,” he demanded.
The duo of the President General, Akwa Ibom State Traditional Rulers Council, Ntenyin Solomon Etuk, and the Paramount Ruler of Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, HRM Ime Udousoro Inyang, did not respond to phone calls and text messages seeking their reaction to the alleged claim of backing the embattled clan head.