On September 12, 2023, a video with several captions was circulated across the X (formerly Twitter) social media platform. The 45 seconds long video has different captions that include:
“Palace of the Eze of Orlu was burnt by unknown people, following his open Support for Gov. Hope Uzodinma.#iPhone15Pro #AbujaTwitterCommunity #AbujaXCommunity #AbujaTradeFair #Lagos #LaResistenciaLulo #AllInLoveWithHanbin”
Another version has the caption, “ The palace of EZE OF ORLU in IMO state received baptism of fire last night. This👆is the house of that king that made a declaration with his colleagues that whoever votes against Hope in the forthcoming IMO STATE ELECTION will die.
Unknown gunmen just visited his palace.”
Across WhatsApp, another version of the story is going viral and has been forwarded several times.
Claims: The Palace of the Eze of Orlu was burnt because of his support for or against Governor Hope Uzodinma?
ALL WE KNOW
Did the Traditional Rulers Support Hope Uzodinma?
Ahead of the November 11 gubernatorial election in Imo, one of the frontline gubernatorial candidates is Hope Uzodinma. He is the incumbent governor of Imo state and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Our observer reported that the governor met with the traditional rulers in the Orlu zone. We found that Uzodinma is from the zone.
After the meeting, they jointly placed a curse on any Orlu indigene who intends not to vote for the governor. The CDD War Room found a 1-minute, 32-second video where the traditional leaders converged at the Orlu Zone Development Summit 2023. It was at the event that they placed the curses and declared their support for Hope Uzodinma of the APC.
The video retrieved from the summit was translated from Igbo to English and it revealed that the Eze, alongside other titled chiefs, was saying, “Anyone who says Uzodinma will not win will be chased away.” He was praising the governor as well and showering encomiums on him with responses from other chiefs.
Why was the Eze’s Palace burnt?
The CDD War Room can confirm that the palace was burnt in the early hours of September 12, 2023 and the circulated videos were retrieved from the scene . However, CDD War Room could not at the time of this fact check verify how and why the palace was burnt.
Other Related Events
We also found that on May 17, 2023, the Imo State Police Command released a statement confirming the arrest of six suspected IPOB/ESN terror gang members who attacked Eze of Orlu’s palace. They were, however, neutralized, and their planned attack was foiled by security operatives.
Hence, the CDD War Room can confirm that the palace of His Royal Highness Eze Dr E. C Okeke, the Eze of Orlu in Imo state, who doubles as the chairman of the Imo State Council Of Traditional Rulers was razed. However, there is no evidence to show that the fire was caused by specific individuals or groups.
Verdict: ALL WE KNOW
We can confirm that the video attached to the claim is true and was retrieved from the Orlu Zone Development Summit 2023, where the traditional rulers declared their support for Hope Uzodinma.