The dethroned traditional ruler of Obinugwu Community in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya has described his dethronement by Governor Rochas Okorocha as laughable, saying it is an action that cannot never see the light of the day.
Speaking with 247ureports,com through his chief press secretary, Mr. Kenedy Eweama, on Saturday, Ilomuanya said the governor’s directive cannot stand because it was against the ruling of the Court of Appeal which restrained him from acting like that or interfering with the affairs of the council.
The monarch said the action had just reaffirmed the governor as being allergic to rule of law, adding that Okorocha was trying to stamp himself as an “emperor who wants us to live in Sambisa Forest instead of moving freely”.
He described the governor’s as a mere blackmail from “a man whose ego has been deflected by the courts’ defeats, saying that the governor had no reason to act the way he did.
Ilomuanya assured traditional rulers and the people of the state that he had taken over the secretariat of the council of traditional rulers as the chairman and would address a press conference from there on Monday.
The Imo State government on Friday announced the dethronement of Ilomuanya alongside the traditional ruler of Lagwa Autonomous Community in Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area, Eze Cosmos Onyeneke.
Their dethronement came via a statement signed by Professor Anthony Anwukah, Secretary to the Government of Imo State on Friday which said the deposition was done in accordance with Sections 11 and 14 of the Imo State Traditional Rulers Autonomous Communities Law No 6 of 2006.
“His Excellency, the Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha (OON), has approved the withdrawal of certificates of recognized traditional rulers of Obinugwu and Lagwa Autonomous Communities, respectively,” the statement had said.
The government went ahead to direct secretaries of the Community Government Council of the respective autonomous communities to liaise with the government on behalf of the territories, “pending the selection and presentation of an Eze-elect in accordance with the custom and constitution of each of the affected Autonomous Communities.”
Earlier on Friday, Eze Ilomunanya, accompanied by leader of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, Chief Dr. Vitalis Orikeze Ajumbe, a former Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Chief Chuma Nnaji, had inspected office block and facilities within the complex of Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers.
Later at a press conference, he praised the judiciary for upholding the rule of law and justice by re-instating him as the bona fide chairman of the Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers after what he called the illegal and unconstitutional dissolution of the council by Governor Rochas Okorocha on June 6, 2011.
“I did not go to court because I was a hungry man, but to protect the integrity of the traditional institution in the state, because if the unlawful action of the state government had gone unchallenged, it would become a norm. The law that established Imo Council of Traditional Rulers is very clear, as the only way that the chairman of the council could be replaced before his tenure of office lapses, is either by death or voluntary resignation, or if he is indicted for any criminal activity. But I was never indicted for any offence and I was elected for a tenure of five years.” Recall that Eze Ilomunanya had filed a suit against the Imo State government following his removal from office three years ago before he was reinstated by the court last week.