Angered by the recent attempt by some individuals to illegally and unconstitutionally install an Igwe-elect for Ojoto town, the Ojoto community in Idemili South Local Council of Anambra State has sued Dennis Adindu Okafor, as well as the suspended president General of Ojoto Akanasato Union, Engr Edwin I. C. Umeghalu, over the illegal declaration of a purported Igwe-elect.
The suit numbered HID/139/17 before the High court in Ogidi, taken out by Arthur Obi Okafor (SAN) & Co, one of the pool of law firms retained by Ojoto community to prosecute the matter, has as plaintiffs the Regent of Ojoto community, Chief Gerald Mbamalu, (suing on behalf of Ojoto Community), Chiefs Jude Orakposim Mbamalu, Patrick Igboanugo, Jude Ezeoba and Gab Akanuno, (suing on behalf of Enugo Village), which has the resident right to select a candidate for the vacant Igwe Ojoto stool.
It would be recalled that Dennis Adindu Okafor had challenged the process of selection of Igweship candidate in Ojoto in court in suit number HID/111/17 on April 27, 2017. However, while this suit was slated to come up on 12/6/17 at High court Ogidi, the said Dennis Okafor reportedly connived with suspended Engr Umeghalu and some jobbers to install himself as purported Igwe-elect on May 13, 2017. This act of bravado elicited condemnation from Anambra State Government, which promptly denounced the installation as of no effect.
In a letter addressed to suspended Engr Umeghalu by the Special Adviser to Governor Obiano on Chieftaincy and Town Union Matters, Barr Ikechukwu Onyeabo, the State Government reminded Engr. Umeghalu of the decision suspending processes aimed at selecting or presenting a traditional ruler/Igwe of Ojoto community. As stated in the letter, “It is in this wise that the attempt by a section of the community to embark on the process on April 29, 2017, was stopped. It is in the light of the foregoing that the State Government views with concern the news that some people in Ojoto led by you (Edwin Umeghalu) purported to have surreptitiously selected a traditional ruler/Igwe on Saturday May 13, 2017”.
“The State Government hereby states that peace in Ojoto community, as in other communities in the state, remains its top priority and will not tolerate any attempt to derail same. The purported selection of a traditional ruler/Igwe in Ojoto on May 13, 2017 is therefore denounced as being of no effect. You are therefore directed to comply with the State Government’s decision on this matter,” the letter reads.
The Ojoto community seeks the following prayers from the court in the fresh suit: “That the Enugo Village, being the quarter, which turn it is to select an Igwe of Ojoto Town is the only body that can present a selected Igweship candidate to its sectional unit, the Ojoto South Development Union for the screening. *Declaration that the 1st Defendant, having not been presented by Enugo village, the 3rd Defendant has no right to pronounce him the Igwe-elect of Ojoto Town.”
The suit is also seeking an order setting aside the purported installation of the 1st Defendant as the Igwe-elect of Ojoto by the 3rd Defendant,while suit No HID/111/2017, supra, is still pending. It’s also seeking for an order restraining 1st Defendant from parading himself or allowing himself to be presented, holding himself out as the Igwe-elect or using the paraphernalia of Igwe elect or Igwe Ojoto.
Through the suit, the community wants the court to restrain the Defendants, either by themselves, their agents, servants or cohorts from selecting, presenting or cause the 1st Defendant to be presented and/or in whatever manner present 1st Defendanbt as the Igwe elect or Igwe of Ojoto Town either to Idemili Local Council of Anambra State Government of Nigeria respectively. A hearing date is yet to be fixed for this suit.