~ Contempt proceedings served Monarch
By Esindu Jacobs
There’s tension in Alor Community, Idemili South local government area of Anambra State, following the dethronement of the traditional ruler, Anthony Elibe Okonkwo by a State High Court.
The Community is where the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, hails from.
Since his dethronement in February, 2022, by Hon Justice Pete Obiorah, the monarch has refused to vacate the throne, five months after. He has Appealed the judgement
Already, the Community has elected Igwe, Collins Ebelechukwu Chukwumesili as it’s new Monarch, while waiting for his recognition from the government.
As a result, the youth of the Community are threatening mayhem, if the dethroned monarch failed to vacate the office with immediate effect for peace to reign.
Recall that the Administrative Judge of the Anambra High Court, Ogidi Judicial Division, Justice Pete Obiorah, had in February, 2022, dethroned the traditional ruler .
The community has slammed a notice of consequences of disobedience of court order (Form 48) on Wednesday, based on the judgement of the court.
But one of the leaders of Alor People’s Convention APC and acclaimed President- General, Hon Christian Okudo, told THE RAZOR NEWS Friday, that Okonkwo remained the traditional ruler of the Community.
He said the judgement had been appealed by the dethroned monarch, through his Counsel, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN at the appeal Court in Awka.
“They should wait for the Appeal. The Status Quo should be maintained for now, until after the Appeal ” Okudo said
However, the President-General of Alor Peoples Convention, APC, Chief Uzoma Igbonwa, told THE RAZOR NEWS , that a new monarch had been elected by the Community, in the person of Ebelechukwu Chukwumesili.
He said 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 by addressing few rented individuals as Igwe of Alor.
He said that the most annoying thing was that he told them that he was still the Igwe of Alor because he filed an appeal against his dethronement, adding that he also filed a stay of execution.
Igbonwa argued that even if Okonkwo filed a stay of execution which had not yet been determined, his actions so far indicated that he had been acting in breach of the court order, hence the Form 48.
In 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.
According Justice Obiorah in paragraph 14 of the judgment, “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 , “I grant an order of perpetual injunction restraining Okonkwo from further parading himself as the Igwe of Alor, carrying on any function(s) 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”.