Ngige community boils over alleged refusal of dethroned monarch to obey court verdict

July 30, 2022
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…as contempt proceedings kicks off

By CHUKS EKE

Barely five months after the Administrative Judge of the Anambra High Court, Ogidi Judicial Division, Justice Pete Obiorah dethroned the traditional ruler of Alor community in Idemili South Local Government Area of the state, Igwe Mac-Anthony Elibe Okonkwo, Alor community have slammed a notice of consequences of disobedience of court order (Form 48), based on the judgement of the court.

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The Form 48 filed against Okonkwo at the Ogidi High Court Registry, Wednesday, July 27, this year, read in part: “Take note that unless you obey the directions contained in paragraphs 13, 14, 15 and 16 at pages 14 and 15 of 17-paragraph judgement order delivered by Justice Obiorah on February 17, 2022, you shall be guilty of contempt of the court”.

The President-General of Alor Peoples Convention, APC, Chief Uzoma Igbonwa who filed the Form 48, averred that the contemnor, Okonkwo had continued to parade himself as the Igwe of Alor community, in breach of the subsisting court order/judgement.

Igbonwa gave an instance where Okonkwo returned from abroad recently and on arrival at Anambra International Passenger and Cargo Airport, Umueri, mounted a show of shame, addressed few rented individuals as Igwe of Alor and told them that he is still the Igwe of Alor because he filed an appeal against his dethronement and besides he also filed a stay of execution.

Identifying Okonkwo as one of the products of former Gov. Willie Obiano’s abracadabra against several communities in Anambra State, Igbonwa argued that even if Okonkwo filed a stay of execution which has not yet been determined, his actions so far indicated that he has been acting in breach of the court order, hence this Form 48.

In the Suit No. HID/354/2019, the plaintiffs, Frank Nwabufo Okoye, Ifenna Okafor and Igwe Mac-Anthony Okonkwo were seeking the court’s protection and stoppage of the defendants, Incorporated Trustees of Alor Peoples Assembly, APA and Chief Uzoma Igbonwa, from dethroning him as the Igwe of Alor.

But Justice Obiorah rather dethroned Okonkwo in his 17- paragraph judgement order.

In paragraph 13 of his judgement, Justice Obiorah made a declaration that “the only way and means of according recognition of the government of Anambra state to a traditional ruler within the meaning and context of the Traditional Rulers Law of Anambra State 2007, is by first and foremost publishing such fact in the gazette of the State Government and thereafter the issuance of certificate to a person democratically selected by the community in accordance with the constitution and or custom and tradition, and the failure of the government to follow this laid down procedure rendered the recognition of Okonkwo as Igwe of Alor a nullity “.

Justice Obiorah further declared in paragraph 14 of the judgment as follows: “I grant an order that the certificate of recognition issued to Okonkwo as Igwe of Alor by the State government on June 23, 2014 is in breach of the Constitution of Alor People’s Convention (APC), then in force and Anambra State Government Traditional Rulers Law, 2007”.

In paragraph 15 of the judgment order, the judge also declared: “I grant an order of perpetual injunction restraining Okonkwo from further parading himself as the Igwe of Alor, carrying on any function and/or duties of Igwe of Alor, occupying or using the palace of Obi Eze-Agbudugbu and generally from intermeddling in the various customs and practices, as well as administrative affairs of Alor town”.

The court therefore directed in paragraph 16 that the second defendant/counter claimant, Igbonwa, as the President-General of APC elected in compliance with the judgment in Suit No. A/14/2015, delivered on February 5th, 2019, in conjunction with the Regency Council of Alor to commence the process of filling the vacant royal stool, in accordance with the constitution of APC 2011.

Alor Community in compliance with the Judgement of the Court has since installed HRM Igwe Collins Ebelechukwu Chukwumesili as Ezediohamma III of Alor, in accordance with the customs, traditions and constitution of Alor, and awaiting the recognition by the State Government.

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