Many people know him by his company name, Nowas. His real name is Dr Ignatius Nubia, the group managing Director of Nowas group of companies. He is an Anambra born oil magnet but is based in Enugu where he resides with his family. The story of his alleged involvement in the kidnapping of the younger brother of the late minster for Information, Prof Dora Akunyili, was a trending story in both print and electronic media about the year 2008. The journey of his incarceration in the detention for two years and seven months started with his arrest by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad Enugu Police Command from there he was remanded to Enugu Prison where he stayed until he was discharged and acquitted by the Enugu High Court in the case of trumped up charges against him. His trail at the court was phenomenal as several strange legal procedure and Meta- legal manipulations were introduced to annihilate him amidst his desertion by his friends, but through the prayers and involvement of Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka the Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry Enugu Nigeria who stood by him at the peak of the saga, Nowas did only survive his years of incarceration but also his mouth is today filled with testimonies of how God restored his fortunes, avenged his sufferings and blessed him with twins and triplets to console him.
The recent news of the death of Jude Agbanajelu, the then Officer in Charge (O.C) of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Enugu police Command who masterminded Nowas ordeal has resurrected his story just as it did with the death of the former minister of Information, Prof Dora Akunyili who was at the center of the whole saga. Added to this was the recent compulsory retirement by NJC of the Enugu Chief Judge, Innocent Umezurike under whose watch of the state judiciary, Nowas was subjected to a historic trial.
The AMEN Media team (Comprising of the AMEN Newspaper and Miraculous Adoration Television MATV) stormed Nowas’s residence last week where he granted them exclusive interview on the issue. He gave a blow by blow account of his experience that leaves no one in doubt that only God indeed could have wriggled him out of that warped and miry situation. The Excerpts.
“My name is Dr Nnubia Ignatius Ihechidere, I was also given a title by my community as the “ Anya Ihe Mbosi.” The Group managing Director of Nowas Group of Companies.
“God has actually done so many things in my life. Recently my wife delivered triplets in United States of America precisely on June 23 2015. But before then, God did a very serious miracle in my life and that of my entire family. It is a long story but I will try as much as possible to summarize it.
“We thank God in a special way for our spiritual Director, Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka who was deeply involved in the whole saga. He first came to me and asked me this question “Did you commit the crime?” And I replied “No I never did it. If actually I dreamt of it, my entire family should perish.”
“From that moment, he continued praying and telling the whole world that I was innocent of the crime. However let me just bring you to the saga in question,
THE TRUE STORY
“Sometimes in 2008, I was in Lagos on my way to U.S for a business meeting. I had a phone call from my wife informing me that our station, Conoil at Ogui Road was surrounded by a team of policemen from Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS and that they arrested my manager, the two mopols attached to me and one of the security night guards by name Ali Mohammadu. She told me that she was going there to find out what happened.
“I actually told her to be careful and not to go there until she was sure of what was happening. Later in the day, I couldn’t hear from her again. Then I discovered that she went to SARS to find out what our Staff did. The then Officer in Charge , OC SARS, Jude Agbanajelu arrested her alleging that I, her husband was involved in the kidnapping of the younger brother of the then information minister, Prof Dora Akunyili, now late. The whole thing was just like a dream to me. The next day, they took her to my home town to search my home; they also came back to Enugu and searched my house here. Then I was informed that at the village, they couldn’t find anything. Then, the officer in charge of SARS was moving with one civilian, Chikelue, who planted a pistol in my house and the pistol was a police pistol. They used the whole thing to frame me up that I was involved in the kidnapping of Prof Dora’s younger brother.
“The funny thing is that you can tell a story but you have to prove it beyond all reasonable doubts. So when the matter was taken to court, they couldn’t produce any evidence against me. This was because I was not in the state then.
“I contacted the then Inspector General of Police, Inspector Okilo and he reached the then Commissioner of Police Enugu, Alhaji Sule and told him that Kidnapping is a bail able offence and that he should take my statement and allow me to go on bail. That was precisely on December 12th 2008. I went to the police myself when I returned to Enugu in company of my friends who were over thirty that gathered because the story was all over everywhere. When we got to SARS, Jude, the officer in charge blocked everywhere and refused to let my friends in . After taking my statement they refused to allow me to go. The long and short of it was that I was detained in the police custody from that December 12th 2008 to around January 12th 2009 when we went to Magistrates court. I didn’t know that God used my being in the police custody to save my life.
MY UNPRECEDENTED TRIALS AT THE COURT
“At the Magistrate court, they couldn’t figure out the charge to frame against me. First they were talking about kidnapping, but because kidnapping was a bail able offence, they now added armed robbery. The press then was publishing it everywhere, ‘Oil Magnet involved in Armed Robbery’. Dora Akunyili used her position then as the information minister and gathered the whole press in this South-Eastern region. They kept on coming to the Court. At the court, the magistrate could not handle the matter because they could not bring a proper charge. They lined up six Magistrates in the Court, the Attorney General was there too. Bringing Attorney General to this kind of matter is as good as saying that the governor was there. It never happened that in a Magistrate Court, six magistrates had to be there with Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP who was the prosecutor. It took them three days to argue the issue of remanding me to the prison. Later they succeeded, and I was remanded in Enugu Prison.
“I had to stay in Enugu Prisons for two years and seven months. That period was something else because from there I was being taken to the Enugu High Court for trial of the matter. Within that period, the matter was taken to nine different courts and it was presided over by six different judges. They brought four count charges against me. The major one then was kidnapping. Because Kidnapping then was a bail able offence, the Government then used the House of Assembly and within two to three months they made Kidnapping a Capital offense just to make sure that I was roped in. They alleged that the person kidnapped had a pen valued N5, 000, a wrist watch valued N60,000 and telephone Handset valued N60,0000 and cash of N70,000 and that all these items were taken from him. That was how the offense of Kidnapping and Armed robbery against me were framed. They added conspiracy to the charge and then unlawful possession of firearm. That was the four charges. One, the firearm they alleged was not on me, so there was no way it could be established.
“The long and short of the whole story was that the first Judge saw the whole charges and said that there was nothing in the matter, because the lawyers from ministry of Justice saw that there was no evidence to persecute me and declined to continue with the prosecution, Prof Dora AkunyilI paid a private Legal Practitioner, Mr Tony Ani and they gave him fiat to prosecute the matter. As God may have it, each Judge that looked into the matter and decided to handle it, will be transferred the next day so that nobody would talk of us in the prison, so the case lingered for two years and seven months. During that time I was never granted bail. I was in the Enugu prison all through until that matter was finally dealt with.
MY EXPERIENCE IN PRISON
“It was there in Prison that I discovered that God sent me into the prisons for some reasons. First, to save my life. Secondly, for me to see the other side of life. Before I went into the prisons, I never knew that innocent people could be detained in the prison. Forty percent of the inmates are innocent.
“On my first Sunday at the prison, they have a chapel where some priests usually come to conduct Sunday service for the inmates. On my first Sunday at the Chapel I was given a bulletin, I looked at it and discovered that the whole message in the bulletin was meant for me. The First Reading was about the story of Jona that refused to go to Nineveh but fish swallowed him and took him to Nineveh. The Responsorial Psalms was saying “Lord show me your ways”. The Second Reading was Paul’s letter to the Corinthians where Paul was telling the Corinthians that those that have wives should realize that there are those that don’t have. Those that are rich should realize that some people are poor and that no matter the situation you find yourself, remember that there is the opposite side of it. Then the Gospel was the story of the fishermen that later became fishers of men.
“When I returned after the service, some of the inmates started coming to me. Some boldly came to me and said “Oga , we know you are not into crime, God brought you here to free us.” I told them that I was surprised at what they were saying and that I can only free them when I go out. So that night, I had a dream, a terrible dream where I was being flogged and told ‘I sent you on an errand, instead of doing what I sent you to do, you are dictating for me’. So in the morning, I called my manager who was also there in the prison with me. My manager was shot on his two legs by Jude,the officer in charge of SARS when we were at SARS detention. He shot him in the process of torturing him to accept that we are into kidnapping. My manager told him that he had been with me for over nine years and that we have never being into any crime and that there is no way he will accept that and that if Jude liked , he can kill him. So the Personal Assistant to the OC SARS used the chair there and pieced it on my manager’s head. My manager almost passed out. He was never treated of all these injuries until I came in and insisted that he should be treated.
“So there at the prison, they had a VIP block in the prison and that was where I stayed. It was where Jim Nwobodo and Sam Mbakwe stayed during that Shagari regime. The block was just renovated by one of the House of Reps members then and we were the first people to be kept there after the renovation.
“While I was there at the prison we embarked on a serious project and started releasing some indigent detainees. Before I left the prison, I released over 50 inmates. We didn’t touch the case of those that have outstanding matters. We only embarked on releasing those that had been given bail but there was no one to take them on bail. We made arrangement for the perfection of their bail conditions and they were released. There was this peculiar case of an inmate from Udi, I have forgotten his name. He was charged with Murder case. He didn’t see the corpse of the person he was alleged to have killed nor was there any autopsy to that effect. It just happened that he was the only son and his uncle framed up this case against him to keep him in the prison and take his land. So this man had been in the prison for five years, and on his sixth year he was granted bail by the Chief Judge during his prison visit. I perfected his bail and when he went home, his people thought that he escaped from the prison because they never thought anyone would ask of him. They arrested him and brought him back to the prison but they were shown the papers showing that he never escaped but was legally released by the prison authority.
“The whole story was very lengthy. I was jotting down some of these stories. Later I will publish a book to that effect and it will be an interesting book. I had a very terrible experience in the prison.
HOW I WAS ROBBED IN THE CASE
“While we were there at the Prison, the people that actually collected the ransom paid on the Kidnap of Dora’s brother were caught. They confessed that they collected the money for the real kidnappers. Jude decided with Dora to release them because if they continued the story, the aspect of the story that I and my people did the kidnapping would be destroyed. Owo and John Chiekwu who lived at New haven then came and wrote a statement that they collected the ransom for one Eke Nwofia, one the SARS police people killed at the scene of the rescue of Dora’s kidnapped brother. This Eke Nwofia and one Mohammed were there at the scene with the victim when the police struck them. My name was mentioned by Mohammed because they shot him on one leg and when he was trying to run, the police caught him and asked him where he works, he told them that he was working at Conoil in Ogui Road. Then Jude, OC SARS asked him if it is the Conoil being run by Nowas? And he replied yes. That was the beginning of the whole story as the OC SARS now asked Mohammadu to maintain that it was Nowas who sent them.
HOW GOD SAVED ME FROM HARM IN THE PRISON
“Well, Jude didn’t know me very well then. Within the six months I was in the prison, I was finding it difficult to pray because each time I wanted to pray, the aspect of forgiveness will be coming before me and I have being asking myself and God, Why are you asking me to forgive people that did I nothing to and they roped me into a matter I knew nothing about and they continued to prove it. Then I realized eventually that it was like a written script that God wrote and brought wicked people to act. All the people that performed different roles, I just saw them as people God used to perform his miracles of saving my life.
“A notorious man, known as “ Ofe Akwu” from my Local Government had me in his list as the first person to kidnap. He kidnapped the person I handed over as the president General of my town and one other person from my neighboring town. When he was about dropping them, he told them that he heard that the oil man from Ihembosi (referring to me) had problem and that I was lucky. He told them that if not that I was in prison, he would have dealt with me. That was the first and major thing God did for me because if not that he put me in the custody of the prison wall, I would have been a victim of that treat.
CURRENT THING HAPPENING NOW, RESTORATION AND GOD’S VENGEANCE.
“Let me take you back a little, when I was there in the prison, Fr Mbaka was out there telling the whole world almost on daily basis that I didn’t commit the crime. At that time during the political era of Dora, she came to the Adoration Ground , one Joshua Ayuba who was actually with the Mohammadu and the kidnappers had told Jude the story of his involvement in the crime. Jude released him. Ayuba came to the Adoration ground almost the time that Dora came. The two of them by providence met at the church and they were asked questions. Dora couldn’t believe that I was innocent of the whole thing.
“When God eventually released me and I was discharged and acquitted, the same week, I went to adoration. Fr Mbaka asked me and my wife to go to the chapel. He said before the altar of God that we should ask God for a remarkable miracle in our life to prove to the whole world again that we were innocent. Before father could finish this, my wife replied him that she wanted to be pregnant. My only son then was 19 years old.That was in July of that year.
“After that, about two months later being September of that year, my wife took in and later she delivered twins, two bouncing baby boys. During that pregnancy, we wanted to travel abroad, but Father said no, that we should not travel because if we travel out and she delivers there, many people may not believe it, they would think we went and adopted children. Human beings being what they are, we disobeyed father somehow. We went behind Father to the embassy to get visa. At the embassy, they gave me visa and denied my wife visa. So I came back and went to confess to father, that you asked us not to go but we went behind you to travel out and this was what happened. Father told us to go and continue praying. On the seventh month, the babies were delivered at the teaching hospital prematurely; I named the two babies, Miracle and Testimony. About one month later, we lost Miracle. Then the following year, my wife took in again and delivered my first daughter whom we named Victory.
When Father came here to bless the babies, my mother-in-law started begging father that we don’t want more children again, we supported her. Father told us that for the fact that we said it, children will come again. The next year that was in 2014 my wife took in again and delivered triplet. Within the space of four years, a father of one became a father of six. If you go inside now you will see how they are painting my walls. I don’t complain because previously, the whole place used to be quite.
THE DIVINE VENGEANCE
“Another thing that is amazing in the whole saga is the way the people involved in my incarceration started dying one after the other. The first was Adamu, the O.C Mopol that was allocating the security personnel then. He travelled to Mecca and when he came back, he never asked of the two mopol attached to me. These two mopols were in prisons with me all through. They were charged with offense they didn’t commit, just like me. Adamu and the then Commissioner of Police, Sule, were going to Abuja. Somewhere in Lokoja they had accident. Adamu died at the spot. Sule, the then Commissioner of Police, went into coma and was taken to Kaduna, three days later, he called Abubakar the then DPO of Abakaliki Police Station to go and look for me and apologize to me saying that ‘he did what he was asked to do’. So Abubakar looked for my wife, they came to the prison to see me and tender the apology. I said no problem. I remained there.
“Few years later we were released and we went for thanksgiving . After that, we heard the news of Dora Akunyili’s aspect, how she had cancer and eventually died. At her death, people were saying she was this and that, but I enumerated the other side of her. AMEN SuperNews published it then. That information was so interesting to some people who never knew she was so wicked.
“The personal Assistant who was with the OC SARS when they were committing all these blunders went out with his colleague and that his colleague shot him and he died. That was the third to die. Then Joshua Ayuba, who was among us but was discharged and acquitted, he was one of the kidnappers but because Mohammed and the Eke Nwaofia that was killed at the time blocked him when they had collected the ransom of N4m so that they will continue to rope me into the saga. This man, Ayuba went to Kashimu, the police officer in Ogui road who took him to Jude, the OC SARS where he was dancing at a club in Presidential Hotel. It was there he narrated the whole story about Dora Akunyili’s younger brother and where they kept him. Then the next day, he took the OC SARS and his men to the scene and that was where they rescued the Akunyili’s, younger brother. Jude, OC SARS gave Ayuba, N50, 000 and asked him to travel out of Enugu so that there wouldn’t be any link or witness to show that it was another group that committed the crime. This was to enable them to maintain the line of the story that it was I, Nowas and my group that did the kidnapping.
“ Ayuba left Enugu and travelled to Maiduguri were he stayed for about six months but couldn’t continue as he came back to Enugu and stayed at the Ogui road where he used to stay. But there was one man they call Onye Army whose real name is Chinedu Ohala. He was arrested the day they committed the crime. He was together with Ekenwofia, they kept their bag at Army barracks in Onitsha. When Onye Army heard that Ekenweofia was killed at the scene of the crime, he went to the barracks to carry his bag, the girl friend of Ekenweofia reported to the army commander at Onitsha and they arrested Onye Army. When he was arrested, Jude was invited to come and take his statement. After Jude had interviewed him, he refused to take him because if he brought in him, he would destroy the line of the story. So Onye Army was taken back to the barracks, he was court marshaled, found guilty and was brought to SARS.
“This is the way God did it, while they were court marshaling Onye Army at 82 Division, Jude was sent to Jos for a promotional course. But he refused to go, instead he went to the government house and reported to his friend, the CSO to the Governor that Nowas has used his contact to transfer him instead of saying that he was sent to promotional course in Jos. So that was why the Government became furious and insisted on not granting me bail. So the whole thing was just like that, it is a very long story that we can’t finish in one day.
“It was difficult initially for me to forgive but God made me to change my mind and I started praying for my persecutors and to say that I have forgiven them. Like I said the first time I attended Adoration programme, I stood before the altar of God and said that I have forgiven all the people responsible for my incarceration. But I didn’t know that God was somehow dealing with them severely that even now I am praying in this year of mercy that God should have mercy on the remaining ones. Five of them have passed on including the famous Jude Agbanajelu. I was in Abuja on 6th of September and started having phone calls left, right and center. People were calling me asking me, ‘have you heard that Jude is dead. What was the cause of his death, I tried to find out- Cancer. The same cancer that killed Dora killed him. So God visited them with cancer including the one that is still alive. We are praying that one will survive.
Just last week the news of the compulsory retirement of Enugu State Chief Judge, Justice Innocent Umezurike by National Judicial Council following some petitions against him by a Legal Practitioner in the state , it was under his watch as the Chief Justice of the State that my unprecedented trial took place.
ON WHETHER HE WAS TORTURED.
“That is where the special grace of God manifested. Like I did say before, I was in Lagos before the whole thing started, when I came back, I raised alarm because then Jude was firing people at random. So I raised alarm and everybody knew I was coming and there was no wound on me and I was not tortured for one day. Another good testimony is that throughout the period I was in the prison, I wasn’t sick for one day.