THERE is palpable tension in Uromi, the headquarters of Esan Northeast Local Government of Edo State, as the state government in less than two weeks suspended and deposed its traditional ruler for sundry reasons. The traditional ruler of the kingdom, HRH Anslem Eidenojie 11 recently instituted a legal action against the outgoing governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and 11 others over his suspension as the traditional ruler of the community for one. The monarch was in court when the state government deposed him as the Ojuromi of Uromi. His deposition is contained in a letter signed by Secretary to the State Government, Prof Julius Ihonvbere, dated November 9, 2016, and addressed to “Mr Aselm O. Edenojie.” Entitled ‘Deposition from Office as Ojuromi of Uromi: Addendum,’ the government stated: “Please be informed that the initial exco decision of 26th October 2016 has been further affirmed. “Consequently, you have been deposed as the Ojuromi of Uromi pursuant to Section 28 (i & ii) of the Traditional Rulers & Chiefs Law, 1979. “Kindly, therefore, disregard our letter of 4th November 2016 on the subject ‘Re: Letter of Apology to Edo State Government.’ In a reaction, the state PDP chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, who is a chief in Uromi as the Esama of Uromi, said the suspension of the traditional ruler of the community for one year was political and arose out of the man’s support for the PDP candidate in the last state governorship election. He said that as a man born to be king who could not be appointed from a ruling house or at the discretion of the state, the governor acted in error. “The action of the governor is unpardonable, vindictive and spiteful as it is capable of provoking the peace-loving people of Uromi. It was an action the governor took because of his perception that the traditional ruler supported the PDP candidate in the last governorship election in the state. “The governor has no powers under outer laws to condemn a traditional ruler who ascends the throne through primogeniture and for us in PDP we will continue to recognise the Onogie as the king of Uromi. Trouble started late last month when the state government suspended the Onojie for seven days. The letter stated: “I write to convey to you the decision of the Edo State Executive
Council at its meeting on the 26th October 2016, suspending you from office for 7 days as Onojie of Uromi. The suspension from office was based on, among other reasons: your unprovoked attack, inflicting grievous bodily harm on one Mrs Betty Okoebor on September 28, 2016, in full public glare to the embarrassment of those present and causing disgrace to your otherwise esteemed office; your refusal, even after two weeks, to respond to a query issued by the appropriate authority within the stipulated 72 hours demonstrating total disregard and disrespect for constituted authority; and traveling outside the country without appropriate permission in further demonstration of your disregard for extant regulations and laws. “In the circumstances, the State Executive Council has arrived at a conclusion that these and other acts of misconduct of Your Royal Highness, the Onojie of Uromi, are not only distasteful but also unbecoming of a traditional ruler of your status. “Based on the above and convinced that Your Highness has denied yourself of the opportunity of entering a plea against the charges against you that were duly conveyed in writing to you, and therefore in exercise of the powers conferred on the State Executive Council by virtue of Section 28(1) of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law (1979) and all other Laws enabling it in that behalf, has approved your suspension from office as the Onojie of Uromi with immediate effect for a period of seven (7) days, that is, from the 26th of October 2016 to the 1st of November, 2016. “Consequently, within the suspension period, you shall cease to be recognised and treated as traditional ruler or as the Onojie of Uromi in Edo State and you shall not exercise any powers or function or enjoy any privileges provided for under the Traditional Rulers and Chief Law (1979) and all other relevant provisions under the said law. “Within the seven-day suspension period, you are required to tender unreserved apologies to your victim, Mrs Betty Okoebor and the Government of Edo State. However, if within the said 7 days no public apology in tendered by your very self, you will stand deposed as the Onojie of Uromi.” Indications are that Mrs Betty Okoebor, the woman who was allegedly assaulted by the king, begged for forgiveness from the monarch 24 hours later. She was photographed on her knees a day after the suspension order on the monarch kneeling in the presence of some elders of Uromi and her relatives to beg for forgiveness from the Ojuromi.
Speaking with journalists after her apology to the monarch, Okoebor who said she was not pressured into taking the decision to seek for forgiveness, noted that their tradition forbade a monarch going to his subject to ask for forgiveness. She stressed that her decision to do this was based on the fact that the Ojuromi remained her father. “I have offended my father and have come to him for forgiveness, and he has forgiven me and also prayed for me,” she stated. On his part, the monarch said that being his subject, it was his duty to always forgive whenever there was any disagreement between him and his subject. “Betty is my daughter; she had little disagreement with the palace and she has come to apologise. As a father, I have forgiven her and have also prayed for her to have good health, property and success in every of her endeavour.” Other respondents in the traditional ruler’s suit before a Benin High Court are the Commissioner of Police Edo state, MrHaliruGwandu,( CP Edo state), ASP Natuke. Assistant Inspector General of Police – Zone 5, Inspector General of Police Abuja, Nigeria Police Force, Betty Okoebor, Matthew Okoebor and the Edo State Executive Council. In the suit filed by his counsel, Mr. Benjamin Iruobe, the plaintiff is seeking for a declaration that the action of the second respondent who is the governor of Edo State amounts to recklessness and abuse of office, unconstitutional, unlawful, actionable and without a just cause. The plaintiff, who instituted the suit pursuant to Order 2 and 4 of the Fundamental Rights Procedure Rules 2009 of the administration of Criminal Justice A t, 2015 among others, wants an order of the court for the enforcement of his fundamental rights under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in terms of the reliefs sought in the statement in support of the application. The Onojie is also asking the court for a general, aggravated and exemplary damages as compensation for the sum of N1Billion against the respondents jointly and severally as a reparation for the assault, torture, arrest, detention and harassment against him in the course of their unlawful acts. He also prayed the court for an injunction restraining the defendants by themselves, agents, servants and or privies or such
MINISTER of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola says the Ministry of Power under his leadership will not cancel power privatisation on any grounds. President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote had asked that the power privatisation process be revisited and reversed into the “right hands.” “We should be as open as we can if government doesn’t intervene by taking back these assets and giving them to people who really have money that they can really inject, we will not be able to deliver on power,” Dangote had said. “We should ask, how many people, who and who are these guys that have actually gone into the power sector then you will know when you see the quality of people, are they really serious, because they went in to just make money, power business is not just about money, it is a huge business when you invest heavily you will reap at the end of the day.” Speaking at the fifth EU-Nigeria business forum in Lagos on Thursday, Fashola said those who want to get out of the agreement could, based on terms of agreement signed at the beginning of the deal, but added that total cancellation is not to be considered. “I have heard discussions about revisiting the privatisation of power, honestly, I don’t know what it means. I’d like those who made the arguments to be specific; let them come out. Let us have a discussion; does revisiting means cancelling it?If it does, I don’t support it. “The investors who took the plough, must have the assurance that government will not flip flop, and contracts that fail, have consequences,” he said
other persons from oppressing him or imposing any inhibition or restrictions on his freedom of movement or agents and family in respect of this complaint. The plaintiff wants the court to declare that the arrest, psychological torture, detention and his embarrassment by the respondents from 10am till 7.00pm on the 4th day of November, 2016 which he described as unconstitutional, unlawful, actionable and without a just cause. The plaintiff wants the court to order the respondents to tender public apology to him in respect of the complaint In the suit which is accompanied by a 44 paragraph affidavit, the plaintiff claimed that he was arrested on the 4th day of November 2016 at about 10 am and detained till 700pm at the office of the Commissioner of Police, Edo State, for a period of 9 hours. He also claimed that the said Betty Okoebor was ready to withdraw her complaint against him, adding that she was in a dilemma since the Edo state government did not want her to do so. The plaintiff stated that the 5th respondent, who is the Investigation Police Officer told him that he had instruction from above that the 9th respondent, Betty Okoebor could write a withdrawal letter since she was insisting that she did not want the plaintiff prosecuted as they have settled the matter at home.

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