ASABA – The controversy surrounding the position of the Iyase chieftaincy in Ogwashi Uku, Aniocha South Council of the Delta State has been laid to rest.
The Ogwashi-Uku Obi-In-Council has said that the community was not in dispute; just as they affirmed the position of Chief Collins Afuwah as the substantive Iyase of the community.
Recall that one Chief Mike Nwaukoni and Chief Collins Afuwah had been locked in a various legal battle over the Iyaseship title of Ogwashi-Uku community leading to a Supreme Court pronouncement in the suit No: SC./55/2011 which recently struck out the matter for want of proper filing.
The Obi-In-Council who frowned at the purported issuance of a certificate of recognition to an indigene of the community by the Delta State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, hinted that the issuance of the said certificate is not only illegal but null and void.
The council said only the Obi of the community, Prof. Chukwuka Okonjo who is the prescribed authority of the Ogwashi-Uku throne has the legal right to forward the name of a person to be so recognized.
The Spokesperson of the Palace who is also the Ozoma of Ogwashi-Uku community, Prince Nkemjika Okolobi who stated this while briefing the media at the end of the 2019 inaugural meeting of the Obi-In-Council maintained that in line with several judicial pronouncements, the former self-acclaimed Obi of the community, Prince Felix Izediunor, who was alleged to have installed Chief Mike Nwaukoni as the Iyase of Ogwashi-Uku was never the Obi of the community.
“In the Umu-Obahai suit with the suit No: 0/5/1985, the enrolment order of the High Court in Ogwashi-Uku as presided by late Justice Omo-Agege had restrained the said Felix Izediunor from presenting himself to be installed as the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku.
The Court of Appeal in Benin City, Edo State with the suit No: CA/B/124/2007 affirmed the position of the lower court and the perpetual injunction have not been vacated till date.
“Therefore, where did such a person derive the legal right to install someone as a chief? Any person who thus tries to lay claim to the Iyase chieftaincy title or any other chieftaincy title in the community on the ground that he or she was installed in Felix Izediunor is acting in error or self-deceit,” he explained.
Prince Okolobi while reacting further over the Supreme Court Judgment with regard to the Iyase title of the community maintained that the apex court did not make a definite pronouncement concerning who the Iyase is, as the matter before it has to do with the eligibility of a particular family asking to be inducted into the Iyase Ruling House of Ogwashi-Uku.
“But on that ground, the nation’s apex court declined jurisdiction to entertain the matter on the ground that the filing of the matter from the lower court to the Appeal Court was defective and need not to have been heard at all. The Supreme Court simply struck out the matter for that reason.
“By implication, the matter could be refilled if the complainant so wish. I want to use this medium therefore to call on well-meaning indigenes of our community to pursue only acts that unites us as a people and not do those things that creates crisis in the community.
“In our this year inaugural meeting which is meant to usher in the new year, we also prayed for the well being of the people of the community and non-indigenes alike, praying the Creator to give our people more prosperity and long life,” he said.