Igwe John Nebolisa, the traditional ruler of Awkuzu in Anambra state is dead. Sources close to the Igwe's family confirmed last night that the Igwe died early last week.

According to the unnamed source, Igwe Nebolisa had just arrived back to his Lagos residence from Awkuzu that day and slumped and died at about 10 pm while having a late dinner.

The Igwe had suddenly developed chest pain and screamed while clutching his chest.

Igwe John Nebolisa's ascension to the throne, as well as his reign as the traditional ruler of Awkuzu was full of controversy, especially as a result of his alleged criminal and notorious background.

He was among the first set of Igbo men to be associated with the 4-1-9 scam, and who later negatively inspired thousands of other Igbo men to abandon education and commerce to pursue lives on the fast lane. The money culture was promoted in local and highlife music by a popular musician, Oliver de Coque whose infamous song ÔÇśAna enwe obodo enwe' sang the Igwe's praises as well as those of other notorious Igbo men of tainted and questionable characters.

Igwe John Nebolisa, whose traditional title is Ichie Gbu lu gbu lu and Igwe Ibilibi Ogada ran into trouble with the law in 1998 when he was arraigned before the Miscellaneous Offences Tribunal at Victoria Island, Lagos along with two others over alleged advance fee fraud (419) offences.

In 2001, the Igwe briefly went on exile and could not return to his native ÔÇśkingdom' for a while following his alleged sponsorship and involvement in the Awkuzu mayhem and massacre of 2001. The Bakassi militia group placed the Igwe in their most wanted list at the time of the mayhem which claimed several lives.

The source also hinted that the Igwe's death may not have been announced officially as a result of his ÔÇśstatus', and that such announcements are usually done the traditional way to forestall further crises that may ensue following his death, and also to checkmate aspiring successors to the throne.

We will keep tabs on the story and inform you first hand of further developments. Remember that you heard it here first.


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