Nri crisis deepens as cabinet chiefs drag monarch to court

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 12 February 2017 | 2,461 times

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Pamela Eboh, Awka

The ongoing crisis in Nri, Anaocha Local Govt Area of Anambra State on Friday took a downward spiral as the Igwe-in-Council dragged the monarch, Eze Obidiegwu Onyesoh, to court following the dissolution of the cabinet.

The youths of the community under the aegis of Nri Youth Democratic Assembly (NYDA) recently made effort to wade into the issue by calling on the warring factions to sheath their swords and seek amicable way to settle the issue but the appeal fell on deaf ears.

Led by its chairman, Comrade Uzochukwu Okeke, and secretary, Hon. Chukwuemeka Anadumaka, the youths appealed to both warring factions to allow peace reign describing the crisis as uncalled for.

In a suit filed at an Awka High Court with Suit No. A/39/2017, by the 13 members of the Igwe-in- Council, for themselves and as representing the members of the Nzemabuo Nri, against Eze Onyesoh, the plaintiffs are asking the court to among other things set aside the purported dissolution of the Council by the monarch.

The Nzemabuo Nri wants the court to determine among other things, “Whether the Defendant has any powers under the constitution of Nri town known as the Nri Political Constitution based on Odinani Nri to unilaterally dissolve the Nzemabuo Council of Nri town.

“Whether the Defendant has the sole responsibility to install, confer or bestow any honourary chieftaincy title on any person without the knowledge, participation or concurrence of the Nzemabuo Nri (Plaintiff).

“Whether the acts of the Defendant in purporting to dissolve the Eze Nri-in-Council by a letter dated 19th January 2017 is not an abuse of office and against the Odinani Nri.

“Whether the arrangement to constitute another body to be known as Orunzenaino of 24 elders and invitation to certain villages and persons to appoint members of that body, in place of the constitutionally provided Nzemabo is not unconstitutional.”

Furthermore, they urged the court to declare “That the defendant’s letter to the members of the Nzemabuo is ultra, null and void and of no effect as the defendant has no customary or constitutional right to write the said letter and/or dissolve the Nzemabuo.

“An order of the court prohibiting the defendant from setting up the so-called Orunzenaino to take over the position or functions of the Nzemabuo, as such is unconstitutional.

“An order of the court prohibiting the defendant from celebrating the Igu-Aro-Ndi-Igbo 2017 without the plaintiffs participating in its preparation, fixing of the date and in the festivities.

“An order of the court prohibiting the defendant from conferring or bestowing any honorary chieftaincy title on any person in his palace, at any venue during the Igu-Aro-Ndi-Igbo festival or at any other place without the plaintiffs’ screening or knowing the proposed conferee(s), concurring with and suggesting the suitability of his conferment.

“An order of the court cancelling all the chieftaincy titles the defendant conferred on any person in December 2016 and an order of the court prohibiting the defendant from interfering with the duties, responsibilities and functions of the plaintiffs as the Nzemabuo and their membership of the Eze Nri-in-Council.”

The youths on their part called for round table dialogue saying that the traditional dissolved the cabinet in order to accommodate all the villages in the community as was the practice in the past.

“We believe that the monarch has by this given action room for dialogue. Let us dialogue and resolve this issue, the youths stated.”

They therefore called on some villages that are threatening to sanction people who received honours from the monarch not to do so noting that such action would bring enmity in the once peaceful community.

•Eze Obidiegwu Onyesoh.

Source: News Express

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