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Why has Barrister Benson not been sworn-in?

Posted by By Kio Nimengoka on 2005/01/11 | Views: 376 |

Why has Barrister Benson not been sworn-in?

Why has Barrister S.O. Benson from Ataba Community in Andoni Local Government Area not been sworn-in as a judge despite the police report exonerating him from an alleged involvement in a murder case?

Why has Barrister S.O. Benson from Ataba Community in Andoni Local Government Area not been sworn-in as a judge despite the police report exonerating him from an alleged involvement in a murder case?

What has he done to deserve this painful treatment from the state government when even the state Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)'s advice did not incriminate him?
These are the questions bordering the people of Ataba whose son has been denied the opportunity of being sworn-in as a judge of the state high court over a year when his colleagues have been assigned different courts.

Testifying before the Ataba Judicial Commission of Inquiry for three days beginning from Tuesday, January 4, 2005, His Royal Majesty (HRM) Benson Egwenre said: "It is difficult to explain the rational behind asking him (Benson) to keep off from professional practice for over one year even when circumstances that led to that incident had been cleared".

HRM Egwenre who was led in evidence by his counsel, Mr. Damian O. Okoro therefore called on the state government to swear-in their son as a judge because according to him, the people of Ataba are worried over this sad development when those appointed at the same time with him have started long ago.

The witness said an incident of murder of one Sunday Odumo occurred in Ataba where Chief S. A. Oruk and his group petitioned the police, alleging the involvement of Barrister and Mrs. Benson in the murder of which the police both in the state and at Zone 6 Calabar carried out investigations.

HRM Egwenre said the police confirmed that the Benson's were not at Ataba on the day of the incident and exonerated them, adding that Benson who had been his lawyer in respect of the chieftaincy dispute was stopped from appearing in court.
The witness said the document signed by 69 persons who purported to have witnessed the installation of Chief S.A. Oruk as Okan-ama some of them denied, adding that the document was equally challenged at a Bori high court which declared it to be forged and that he (Chief S.A Oruk) was never installed.

HRM Egwenre who presented the most copious memorandum at the commission said as the clan head, such a position is not hereditary but elective, saying that only registered members of the clan council of chiefs are eligible to vote and be voted for.

He suggested that the state government should give two recognized traditional stools such as the Okan-ama and Okan-agan in order to usher in the needed peace and unity in Ataba that had experienced bloody clashes internally leading to the death of many and destruction of property.

HRM Egwenre said the people of Ataba had decided that Chief S.A. Oruk would no longer be a recognized Chief and has been perpetually banished from the community and Ntegun Aja Kop's family be allowed to perform its traditional function of installing and crowning chiefs in Ataba.

Under an extensive cross-examination by the counsel to chief S.A. Oruk, Mr. Paulinus Anosike, the witness said that Ataba cannot be a district because there was no instrument of government creating Ataba district but as an administrative arrangement within Andoni local government, it could sometimes be regarded as a district.

He said it was the opinion of the Ataba Gospel Movement that interfered as an Arbitration Panel in the crisis that the stool of Okan-ama should not be subjected to voting when he was confronted with a document.

In his evidence, Barrister Stanley O. Benson denied of being a core supporter and financier of HRM Egwenre but a counsel to him from 1989 2003.

Barrister Benson said he was not at Ataba on August 15, 2004 when the mayhem was carried out, saying that he decided to appear before the commission because certain allegations were made against him.

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Comments (9)

Kim Worley(Greeley, Colorado, US)says...

I heard this in a song and had no idea what it meant. Googled it and this came up. Very Cool. ????????????????

Obinna(Newark Nj)says...

I want to know more meaning and significant of this name obidike in igboland

Olusola Okhiria Nee Sodunke(Newport, Newport, UK)says...

This is a great piece of history, which is dear to our hearts as people and very much appreciated.

Many thanks to the people who worked hard in the past and those who are still making efforts to keep the institution.

The labour is obviouly worth it. We are proud of you all.

A lot still to be done, with the motivation of the champions of this course, others will follow as well to maintain the institution

May God continue to keep the edifice for development of future generations to the glory of God and the benefits of our fatherland.

Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...