Onwuegbulem Ekechukwu, the first leader of Mbaise

Onwuegbulem Ekechukwu of Umuanuma Nguru was the first modern day leader of Mbaise. His reign was during the colonial period.

In 1909, the Colonial Administrators established courts at Nkwogwu (Nguru) and Okpala respectively due to long distance of Owerri court from Mbaise. The first to be appointed warrant Chief in Mbaise for the court at Nkwogwu was Onwuegbulem Ekechukwu of Umuanuma Nguru because he proved friendly and associated very early with the Administrators on their arrival at Owerri.

The Colonial masters found favour with him because of his fair complexion which resembled the white. He was also humble and meek. He was nick named white lamb. Later on, Onwuegbulem took up the name, Nwaturuocha, and became known as Waturuocha of Nguru Mbaise and by so doing lost his identity and lineage. Waturuocha introduced Onyekwere Njoku of Nnarambia Ahiara, his cousin to the Colonial master and was also made a warrant chief because of his effectiveness during the retaliatory massacre of the people; known as Ogu Douglas the war was to avenge the death of Dr. Stewart in Mbaise.

For the court at Okpala, the warrant chiefs were Nwigwe Akanma Nduka (Ogbo Uvuru), Ihekoronye Nwachukwu (Mbutu), Nwachukwu Ogbuokiri and others. Some of these warrant Chiefs acted as judges during the period of colonial administration and became very powerful and influential. Some of these native court judges were W. Waturuocha (Nguru), P. Onyekwere (Ahiara East) Anyanwu Odirichukwu (Ekwerazu-east).