Adewale Sanyaolu A major crisis seems to be brewing between indigenous oil and gas companies and labour, represented by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) over the former’s claim that the association was working to erode the gains recorded in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (NOGICD) of 2010….
- The full story by an ex-drug lord
By MUSA JIBRIL, Lagos; COSMAS OMEGOH, DAVE ONWUCHEKWA, JEFF AGBO and GODFREY ANYANWU, Ozubulu
Barbarism, descent into the pit and sacrilege. That was the mass murder that took place at St Phillips Catholic Church, Ozubulu, in Nigeria’s southeast state of Anambra on Sunday, August 6, 2017. While bedlam and bloodletting had become a national daily diet, the church massacre was unprecedented. Nigerians may seem to have become inured to horrific deaths in the past few years, but the St Phillips slaughter was one too many and a jab in the solar plexus. The bloodbath left 13 dead––mostly children––and 18 hospitalised, and it raised a caterwaul of condemnations from all people and the Pope.
The big question: What, in the name of God instigated those hounds from hell to unleash that Armageddon on a church?
The answer was scanty: They came for Bishop.
Bishop, real name Aloysius Ikegwuonwu, is the 36-year-old local magnate and philanthropist who is credited with vast influence over the church, in the community, with the police and the politicians.
He is recognised by all as the pillar of the church for his role in the building of the local cathedral. But a big cloud hovers over his source of wealth. That creates room for wild guesses, the most resonating being the drug war theory and the gangland vendetta hypothesis.
Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano lends credence to this thinking when he said: “We are dealing with a dangerous gang war that has spilled over to Anambra State from another African country.”
The murky backdrop to the senseless slaughter of that black Sunday obfuscates a clear theory. What is clear, however, is that the answer lies in going backward––to unveil Citizen Ikegwuonwu. South Africa-based Ikegwuonwu has rebutted allegations that he is a drug lord and had denied any premonition of the attack that claimed his father’s life. But his name and affinity to the community invited the cruel visitation on the church. The killers came for him, and failing to find him, at home and in the church, killed his father and then desecrated with multiple homicides the church he helped build. Without any prejudice, the key to the senseless massacre lies in unravelling the Bishop Conundrum. While on the trail of Bishop in Ozubulu, Saturday Sun’s team stumbled on one of the indigenes of the community who had been involved in the drug cartel’s operations in South Africa. He exposed the cartel’s modus operandi to our undercover reporter and what led to last Sunday’s killings in the Cathedral.
Road to Ozubulu
The Onitsha-Owerri Expressway runs down east, cutting through a series of communities into halves, doing so in the manner a master baker slices loaves of bread. You begin to notice this as you hit the road headed for Ozubulu from Onitsha.
If you are conversant with the area, you might connect Ozubulu through Nnewi, which appears a lot shorter. For Nnewi and Ozubulu share common boundaries. The journey takes a little less than 10 minutes through the old Owerri Road, which is paved but narrow. You struggle with its numerous turns and bends on it; you struggle with the women of Nnewi riding their motorbikes but get rewarded with the sight of architectural pieces scattered all around and the breath taking beauty of wooded hills that lie in the country side. Then you hit Ozubulu, only knowing so when the environment begins to change to semi urban.
You can also access Ozubulu from Onitsha, going through Oba, Akwukwu, Oraifite and connecting from Ekwusigo Junction.
Ozubulu and its people
Ozubulu is one big community. According to one its elders, Anthony Onumonu, a retired civil servant, “Ozubulu is made up of four big villages: Amakwa, Egbema, Eziora and Nza.
“We are surrounded by Oraifite, Ihembosi and Ichi. All of us are under Ekwusigo Local Government Area.
“Our people are mainly traders and businessmen largely known for trading in clothing materials. We are acclaimed cassava growers too. In fact, I’m the Chairman, Apex Farmers Cooperative Society in the community.”
Ozubulu, Saturday Sun was told, equally has well-read people. One of them was Chief Jerome Udoji, formerly Chairman, Federal Civil Commission, whose name swiftly went into the books as a good man for giving handsome rewards to civil servants many years ago. You remember him? There is also Professor Linus Amobi Ilika, former Commissioner for Health in Anambra State and many more like them. Ozubulu has people of means and taste. And this reflects in the quality of houses they have built in their community most of which are exceptional engineering masterpieces.
Over the past days, all roads had led to Ozubulu because of the mindless shooting of worshippers inside St Phillips Catholic Church, Amakwa in the area. This has led to an endless stream of visitors coming to see things for themselves. So both human and vehicular traffic to the town has been spectacular, with the number on a steady climb.
Ofufe, Amakwa village where the killings took place
According to Saturday Sun investigation, Amakwa is the eldest of the four Ozubulu villages. Ofufe is the kindred where St Philips Catholic Church is located.
From the old Nnewi-Owerri Road, one turns into another road said to lead to Ihembosi. You begin to descend endlessly and then go up and up again until you see what appears to be a summit. It is a popular bus stop in the area called Dallas junction. That is close to Amakwu Health Centre. From there, you gain an enthralling panoramic view of the region. Then, you turn to the left and begin to descend endlessly again before arriving at St Philips Catholic Church. The road to the area is paved and was said to be partly built by the Anambra State government and partly by Mr Aloysius Ikegwuonu aka Bishop – the man on whose account it is alleged that the shooting incident took place.
Quiet at Amakwa, Ozubulu
On this mid morning of Wednesday, everyone and everything in the kindred were still pensive. They were firmly in the grip of grief. It was clear that the area was still distraught. But who will not be in grief after all? Who will not be shaken after witnessing last Sunday’s gruesome slaughtering of 13 worshippers inside the auditorium of the church, forcing proceedings at the highly revered Catholic Holy Mass to an unceremonious end after which tens of people are still lying prostrate on hospitals’ beds still on danger list.
The Chairman, Ekwusigo Local Government, Mr Sylvester Ikenna Ofodeme, had declared that12 people died – nine women, a baby girl and two men. But shortly after, one more person joined the number following the severe bullet wounds he received.
On this occasion, the air around Amakwa kindred was still, the temperature cool yet humid. Hardly anyone was seen around except five fully-armed mobile police men sitting a few strides away, keeping vigil over the church. The residents hardly ventured out since the sad incident happened. And the few seen were not in any way prepared to talk to anyone about the dastard incident. They appeared to have collectively resolved to do so.
In their souls, there was this seeming admixture of pain and agony still storming like lava inside the belly of an active volcanic mountain. But they kept carrying on with stoic patience wishing that what befell them never was.
On this occasion, everywhere was calm; even the breeze seldom blew. When it did, its pace lacked that usual potency to ruffle the green leaf vegetation that dotted the area. Even the sun was shy to shine as it was deeply buried somewhere in the clouds up above the area. It was approaching noon but the sun was not releasing that life-giving energy which sustained animals, plants and crops growing in the meadows and farmlands. The reason was that the kindred was still convulsing with shock.
Somewhere at the Dallas Junction, a number of shops belonging to a certain Mr Peter Ubadiagha, a resident and retired civil servant were all under lock and key. Reason? A lady identified as Pauline, a mother of two, was among the victims of the shooting. She was waiting to go abroad to join her husband soon and was merely keeping herself busy passing time at the shop. So the occupiers of other shops closed for business apparently as a mark of respect for the dead.
Atmosphere around the church and ‘Bishop’s house
The church in which the massacre took place is imposing. The Parish Priest’s house behind it is simply magnificent – it looks clearly like an outfit built for a prince only. Both buildings sit magnificently on a plot of land averaging the size of a football field; the two are separated by a close. On this occasion, they wore coats of beautiful colours. Both churches were said to have been built and donated to the church by Bishop.
The police watching over the church had cordoned off the church with a ribbon that has the inscription “crime scene, do not cross.” Only the priest’s gate was open but no visitor dared go in.
Then to the left, a close is seen with a number of mansions on it. One of them is said to belong to Bishop. From afar, this house stands glittering like gold; a security gate keeps many from going anywhere near.
Everywhere around was as quiet as a graveyard with the stillness of the afternoon only occasionally broken by intermittent chirps of song of birds and mid-day crows of domestic fowls.
Victims recall ordeals
Listening to the accounts of the survivors of the gruesome shooting, one is tempted to believe that they are relaying extracts from a box office movie. They drip with blood as the narrators themselves even wonder how they made it alive.
The lone attacker ruthless – Nonyechukwu Eloka
“We were attending 6am Mass on that fateful Sunday. I sat on a pew close to one of the exit doors. The church’s generator had malfunctioned. On three occasions, spirited attempts were made to restart it but every effort was futile. So the parish priest abandoned the generator and carried on.
During the homily, the priest came out in front of the altar; he was shouting his words so that the worshippers would hear his voice from behind. When he was done with his sermon, we began reciting the Catholic ‘I believe in God. ’ Then I heard what sounded like shooting. Initially, I concluded it was some form of electrical spark somewhere, which I didn’t know where it was coming from.
Then, I saw people falling. That was when I saw a young man around the central isle wearing a black T-shirt and faz cap, shooting in all directions. I stood watching. When he exhausted the bullets in the first magazine, he brought out another one and started shooting again. Every part of the church received a fair share of his shooting. People were falling wailing and weeping.
In the ensuing confusion, Bishop’s father was shot dead. We learnt that his step-mother was wounded too.
When the shooting grew more intense, I ran out and escaped.
Those who saw the gunman escape said he came in company with two people who sat in the vehicle waiting. When he was done, he returned to the vehicle and they fled.
My neighbour here, Chinasa was shot. Her one year and five month-old child was killed, the elder, six, received a shot in the head. Both mother and child are in hospital now receiving treatment.”
I held my intestine, preventing it from gushing out, then I rushed home and collapsed – Mrs Catherine Ndubueze, 65
“When I heard the shooting, I felt something hit me on my right hand. I didn’t realise that it was serious until I saw blood gushing out. The bullet hit me and broke my hand. It instantly began to swell. That was when I noticed that the bullet after hitting my hand had also pierced my tummy from the right hand side and went straight to lodge in my abdomen.
“So with my left hand, I held my tummy to prevent my intestine from gushing out. I fell twice on the road as I ran until I reached home where I finally collapsed. From there, my son rushed me to the hospital on a motorbike.
So far, the doctor has extracted the bullet from my tummy after two major operations. My arm has been on POP. Since last Sunday, I only tasted water today (Wednesday). I have been transfused with three pints of blood. I’m happy to be alive; I thank my God for sparing me.”
Bullets battered my buttocks – Adaobi Akpukekwu
“We were busy reciting the ‘I believe in God’ when all of a sudden, I heard the cracking sound of gunshots. When I raised my head, I saw people falling so from where I was, I docked because it was difficult for me to run away from there. Then there was some quiet. We thought the man had ended the shooting but we were wrong. “When he resumed, he was firing intensely in all directions. Even where I was, I received a bullet in my buttocks. I only managed to make it outside after he was gone; I was bleeding profusely; I was in severe pains. I couldn’t walk. It was here at the hospital that it was discovered that a bullet was lodging in my buttocks. I have been waiting for the doctor to extract it.”
Amakwa lost the most – Sylvester Ndubueze
“I was not in church that Sunday morning but our home was very close to the church. When I heard the shooting, I had thought that it was coming from Bishop’s security men. When it became sustained, I came to the conclusion that something was amiss. Then I heard the commotion; I saw survivors running home. Of course, no one dared to venture out.
But I gathered that the people came in a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV). Out of the people who had died, nine are from Ofufe, three from Umeze kindred while one person is from Ihembosi town. It is very sad.”
What Ozubulu residents say about the incident
Residents of Ozubulu are united in their grief, collectively declaring the development as sad and unfortunate.
Bandits committed the act – Igwe Nnamdi Fidelis Oruche, Igwe Ozubulu
The monarch of the troubled community told Saturday Sun that bandits carried out the dastard act.
According to him, “I was home that Sunday morning when I received a distress call to notify me about what was going on, that a great thing had happened at that part of my community. Bandits invaded a church and while worship was in progress, killed some people in cold blood and the bodies of my subject were strewn here and there.
I quickly called the head of Igwe in Council to come over and we quickly notified the state governor about the development.
The only time people from this community were killed was years ago when some security men were abducted and later killed somewhere around Awka. But we have never had such gruesome massacre of this dimension.
We count that government is on top of this. We have called on the Federal and Anambra State governments, the police to help us. We have old, cultural way of resolving things like this; we shall get to the end of it; we shall ensure that the right things are done so that this kind of thing never happens again.
Describing the incident as a tragedy, a prominent businessman in the community, Engr Peter Ubadigha, owner, Dallas Bakery said “Everyone is gravely saddened because of what happened here last Sunday. The woman who rented this shop was my tenant. She was called Paulina, the daughter of Christopher Udeze, a well known person in this community. She was a mother of two aged about 48 years.
The husband lives overseas; she was waiting to join him and was using this shop to keep busy. And now look at the turn of events.
Another community leader, Anthony Onumonu,
Said “This community is deep in mourning at the moment, that is the truth; what affected the victims and their families affected all.
One of the victims is a certain Moses Uhelu, a newspaper vendor at Uugwuoye market. We go to his newsstand everyday to read The Sun and other newspapers.
“One of his children was shot dead; his wife and second child were also wounded. They are in hospital at the moment. We have no word to describe what happened
Another man who would not give his name described the incident as a sacrilege. “Since I was born in this Ozubulu, nothing of what happened last Sunday has ever happened. Imagine a human being venturing into the house of God, a sacred place for that matter to kill. We can’t understand this.
“We learnt that among the dead was Bishop’s father and his step mother was also wounded. We learnt that in hospital she was asking about her husband not knowing that he was among the dead. It is only God who will spare us in this land.”
The massacre, the Bishop’s link
Speculations have been on that the attackers were men on a vengeance mission. They came for the man, Aloysius Ikegwuonu, known in Ozubulu community and beyond as Bishop; he hails from Amakwa kindred, his mansion a shouting distance away from the scene of the killing. It is believed that what happened on the fateful Sunday morning had its root deep in South Africa over business deals relating to drugs.
The state governor Chief Willie Obiano had confirmed this in an address to the people of Anmanbra State. “Brothers and sisters, what happened in Ozubulu was neither a terror attack as we know it, nor a violent action by some agitators. We are dealing with a dangerous gang war that has spilled over to Anambra State from another African country. But this is the last time it will happen under my watch”
Earlier, a source had revealed to Saturday Sun about an on-going face off between suspected cartels of drug dealers perhaps from the community that were operating in South Africa.
“There has been an on-going drug war between pockets of dealers from this community operating in South Africa. They have been killing themselves over the past months following disagreements. From time to time, they come against one another on revenge mission.”
He alleged that Bishop had in the not too distant past, had a bitter disagreement with a certain Chinedu Akpunonu aka Oborocho over three years ago but couldn’t say if the matter was at the centre of the latest crisis.
However, he recalled that the matter was reported to the Igwe of the community and his cabinet for adjudication and wasn’t sure if it was fully and finally resolved.
Another source, which pleaded anonymity feared that the killer squad might have come for the Bishop but missed him. So, it vented its anger on the worshippers for daring to receive the church he donated to them.
“Bishop was around last weekend. He was seen in the community; he even played football with some youths at St Matthew’s school playing field. He does that often once he is around because he is popular here.
“Perhaps, he got wind of the impending disaster and fled before it happened, who knows. That might account for the reason they targeted his family and succeeded in killing his father. But I keep wondering, what would any sane person be seeking to gain by shooting innocent worshippers in a church?”
In Ozubulu, the situation after the attack at St. Phillips Catholic Church, which he built, has become suspicious as the people seem to have been instructed not to talk about the Bishop and if they do, they would only talk about the roads and churches he built.
‘The Bishop is clean, loved’
While allegations fly all around, there has been consistent affirmation of Bishop’s integrity, generosity and philanthropy by his kinsmen including Igwe Fidelis Nnamdi Oruche, the traditional ruler of the community.
For instance, a man who simply identified himself as Emeka admitted that Bishop had issues with a man called Oborocho a long time ago; but it was no longer an issue that would warrant killings in the house of God. “The matter happened over three years ago,” he said. “Then, it was settled and forgotten so it would be senseless to resurrect it talk less of linking it to what happened in this community last Sunday.
“That is why I’m confused as to what transpired. We need to get to the end of this.” Another man from the area, Sylvester Ndubueze said Bishop was such a philanthropist. “He built that St Philips church all alone including the parish priest’s house. He has built similar churches at Egbema and Eziora villages,” he said.
When Saturday Sun went round the area, it was discovered that Bishop had built two well-paved roads and drainage which he named after himself.
A young man who refused to mention his name said about the Bishop: “He has lifted many boys in this community. He gives generously to the widows and the less privileged. Many here have immensely benefited from him; that is why he is loved”, he said, citing some more deeds he did just before he headed out in a hurry.
The Chairman of the Umezekwe Ofufe Welfare Association Amakwa Ozubulu, Mr. Sunday B. Adinnu said their illustrious son, Chief Aloysius Ikegwuonu was an estate developer based in South Africa and not a drug peddler as being alleged in some quarters.
He described Chief Ikegwonu as a God-sent, genuine businessman, an estate developer working in Abuja, Lagos and South Africa.
“As far as we are concerned, our brother and son is a genuine estate developer who made his money through his business and has been helping the community. He built three churches in this community; he constructed many roads and bridges; he has built houses for widows and has been paying monthly stipend of N20, 000 to the aged people and widows in the community and distributes bags of rice and condiments during festive periods like Christmas and Easter.
“Some other people made their money but refused to help the community but his case is different, he is helping everybody and that is why our late Elder gave him a title meaning ‘Candle that we use to see’. It is the enemy of the community who caused this havoc and we know that it has political undertone and security agents should carry out thorough investigation into the incident,” he stated.
He recalled that Chief Ikegwuonu visited the community and went about freely with his bicycle and also played football with the youths of the community and left on Thursday last week for South Africa where he is based before the attack on Sunday, warning that nothing should happen to him.
The Vice Chairman of the village, Mr. Hyginus Ikegwuonu, said that “Bishop owes nobody as alleged but has been into philanthropic ventures in the community and the state. “I know that his hands are clean; he is our son, we know his character. He doesn’t discriminate, he eats and drinks with the young and the old, the poor and the rich.”
The monarch, Igwe Oruche, painted a picture of a Bishop he scantly knew but added that he was well aware of his philanthropic spirit.
He said that there were scores of Ozubulu indigenes living abroad who come together under the banner of Ozubulu Development Union (ODU). He denied that the matter that was brought before him years ago had anything to do with Bishop and Oborocho or any other person, preferring to say that it was a leadership tussle among persons fighting for the soul of the community in South Africa.
“I know Bishop who is called Aloysius Ikegwuonu. He is a brother and my subject; he was introduced to me sometime ago. I see him as someone out there looking for his daily bread.
“Before now, I have heard about his philanthropy – how he has been helping women in the community and even the less privileged people. So my impression about him is not that of a bad man. He is good natured; that is what I know.
“I’m aware that he lives in South Africa and comes to Nigeria often. But I can’t say this is his business. “To the best of my knowledge, the matter that came here for adjudication did not concern the Bishop directly. He was part of it just like every other person. It was a matter among members of Ozubulu Development Union based in South Africa. We have so many of such branches around the world where our people live. So the branch in South Africa was fighting over who became the president general of ODU.
“The matter was a celebrated case. It didn’t just happen once. On the day it was finally resolved, over 2,000 people gathered in my palace. All the stakeholders were invited. After it was finally resolved, everyone proceeded to the church where we all had thanksgiving.”
He dismissed claims that the community was home to pockets of drug merchants, insisting that they were businessmen in search of their daily bread.
“Claims that the community has drug dealers are spurious,” he fumed. “That is untrue. Our people are traders. Go to markets in Onitsha and elsewhere and see our people; they are eminent traders dealing in clothing. That is the much I know.
“However, I must admit that I’m speaking for myself. I cannot vouchsafe for everyone. As the saying goes, the mother monkey says she is carrying her younger ones on her back and wouldn’t know the one that plucked the cherry.”
He also dismissed the allegation that the attack on St Phillips Catholic was inspired by Boko Haram or people from Mbaise who were seeking a pound of flesh from Bishop. “What happened to us here was not caused by Boko Haram or herdsmen seeking to kill. In fact, we have Hausa people living among us for years. They are peaceful. We have never had any incident from them.
“It was not inspired by any Mbaise person either. We do not know how that one came about, the police will get to the end of it,” he assured.
Earlier, Professor Ileka, pro-life activist, had admitted that though there had been frequent shooting of indigenes of the community living in South Africa and their corpses brought home for burial, but the shooting of worshippers at St. Phillips Catholic Church was an abomination against the land.
He said that there was no evidence that Chief Alloysius Ikegwuonwu was involved in drugs trade, insisting that he was a philanthropist.
Ilika, who was one-time secretary general of Ozubulu Development Union condemned the killings and refused to agree Bishop was into drugs business and might have offended his business partners, who might be his own town’s people.
“He has not been charged or arrested for such offences. So, how does anyone know? There is a spate of shooting in South Africa and they bring down the corpses of our people living in South Africa. The person who built the church resides in South Africa. There is likely to be dispute and struggle among them but I cannot say exactly what the issues are.
“But for whatever it is, there is no single justification for assassinations and invasion of a place of worship and committing such mass killing of innocent worshippers in a place of worship”. Ilika described the shooting as an abomination in Ozubulu and appealed to people to join in immediate prayers of atonement and reparation to God . He also sympathised with the entire Ozubulu people, the affected families, Catholic Diocese of Nnewi and the entire people of Anambra State and called for prayers for young people saying that the incident required vigilance.
Why our men struck, by ex-drug lord
But contrary to the avalanche of claims, a repentant drug peddler and an indigene of Ozulubu who identified himself as Chinedu, formerly based in South Africa, said that no fewer than 70 indigenes of the community were into drug business in South Africa. He said the kingpin who introduced them to the trade was a known son of the community. The same man, he said had brought many people into the trade.
He described the business as the survival of the fittest ruled by greed. He said in the tricky trade, one man could be king of all and would do anything to remain on top including setting others up, taking over their goods and even killing to take over their parcel.
Chinedu who is now in the community undertaking a transport business said: “I went to South Africa to join in the drug trade. But after some months I was arrested by the police while I was going to deliver a ‘business parcel’ aka drug to a customer. So I was jailed four months, after which I returned home because I could not continue with the business despite the fact that there is money in it. But there is so much envy and greed in it too.
“In South Africa, the big boys in the business don’t want the younger ones to grow. I came back because I was afraid that even if I made the money, I might not live to enjoy it. This is because they have killed lots of our people in the business over there due to one misunderstanding or the other. So, what you see happened here is a fight back by those who have been cheated.”
He said the story of the man from Mbaise in Imo State, who was killed over drug business was absolutely true. “He was a boy to one of our kingpins and was killed for business reasons. But I learnt that the issue was later settled in the community before now. The Mbaise group was handsomely ‘settled.’
“But this recent killing inside the church was strange. But for all I know, there are some people all the way from South Africa who are not happy with ‘some of our big boys here. That is certain.”
The man, Aloysius Ikegwuonu aka Bishop
The man Aloysius Ikegwuonu (Ebubechukwuzo Ozubulu) turned 36 recently having been born in 1981. It was a feat that was celebrated with pomp and ceremony. Aloysius Ikegwuonu is the son of late Alphonsus Ikegwuonu who was killed in last Sunday’s shooting at St Philips Catholic Church, Amakwu, Ozubulu. His mother was said to have died about ten years ago. And now with the exit of his father, he has come to wear the toga of a full-fledged orphan. According to his Ozubulu kinsmen, he would have been a Reverend Father but for his poor family background. He was said to have gained admission into the junior Seminary School at Nkpor, in Idemili Local Government Area of the State but had to withdraw halfway and proceeded to Comprehensive Secondary School, Egbema Ozubulu, C.S.S. which was formerly called College of Basic Studies, (C.B.S.), a school founded by a certain Reverend Father Nwabaju Izuchi, living in the United States. He graduated about 1999/2000, and it was obvious that his father, would not be able to afford the financial requirement needed to progress in the seminary and achieve his ambition of becoming a priest. It was learnt that Bishop was very close to his late mother that he often helped her in her petty trade at Orie Akpu market, near Ugwu Orie Bus Stop, Amakwa Ozubulu.
In his growing up days, he was mostly called ‘Aloyee’ which comes down to stretching the short form of his name Aloy. But when he began to make money and name, he adopted the name Bishop, a moniker that has simply stuck.
He grew up like every other child, in his native Amakwu village, Ozubulu expectedly remaining anomalous although with a promise that he might be popular in the years ahead. Primary school over, he was admitted into Comprehensive Secondary School, C.S.S. which was formerly called College of Basic Studies, C.B.S.) Egbema Ozubulu, a school founded by a certain Reverend Father Nwabaju Izuchi, living in the United States. In his final year in 1999, he was made a senior prefect, an appointment that led the leadership qualities in him to blossom. However, he was said to have graduated from the school in the year 2000. His sudden wealth shortly after travelling to South Africa in 2001 and his philanthropic activities took many by surprise but the people could not ask questions as the gestures were allegedly coming alongside threat to lives.
In Ozubulu, the situation after the attack at St. Phillips Catholic Church, which he built, has become suspicious as the people seem to have been instructed not to talk about the Bishop and if they do, they would only talk about the roads and churches he built. Soon after his graduation, he signaled his intention to go into business. Soon he got contacts and was apprenticed to a business owner as the case may be. Soon after, he travelled to South Africa to prospect for opportunities. While there, he struck gold. And when he returned home in the months that followed, it was clear that he had become a man of means. It wasn’t long before his friends and other lads most of whom were indigenes of Ozubulu flocked to him seeking assistance on how to fish. Not too long after, Bishop was said to have forayed into other businesses including real estate, with his firm spreading its tentacles into Abuja, Lagos and South Africa. Those who know him too well say he is shrewd and astute in his business.
At the moment, he is said to have pursued a career in philanthropy using a foundation, which he set up as a formidable platform. And so far, he had built and donated three churches in his native Ozubulu, renovated schools, donated to charity and assisted many youths in his community to gain better life. And since then, he has maintained a steady climb up the social ladder.
He is said to be married and has children who are living outside the country contrary to speculations that they were killed sometime ago.