Awba Ofemilli community in Awka North Local government Area of Anambra State has dragged one Chief Ezekwesili Maduagwuna to a Magistrate Court in Achalla for parading himself as the traditional ruler of the community without submitting to the laws of the land on guidelines to electing a monarch.
Maduagwuna had in December 2015 been arrested by the police after it was petitioned by concerned citizens of the community who insisted that he has been parading himself as the monarch, signing congratulatory messages on national dailies and also faking the letter headed papers, which he has been using to send out letters.
Though he was later released on bail, but he was said to have jumped bail and gone into hiding, making it difficult to serve him court orders.
The president General of Awba Ofemilli, Hon Chukwuma Nwankwo in an interview with our correspondent said Maduagwuna may be qualified to be the monarch as he hails from the village favoured to produce the next monarch after the death of the previous one, but his refusal to subject himself to the processes, and crowning by the kingmakers, instead going about parading himself was the reason for dragging him to court.
Maduagwuna aged 51 who is also an oil marketer and owner of Censtrong Nigeria Limited has been slammed with a three count charge in a suit; MCA/20C/2016.
One of the charges reads: That you, Ezekwesili Maduagwuna “m” between the 26th day of October 2015 till date at Awba Ofemili, within the Awka North Magisterial District did unlawfully hold yourself out to be a recognised traditional ruler of Awba Ofemilli Community. You thereby committed an offence punishable under section 19(a) of the traditional rulers law Cap143 of Anambra State of Nigeria.
When the matter was called up for hearing yesterday at the magistrate court, Achalla, the magistrate, Mrs Ughanze insisted that the matter can not go on as the defendant has not been properly arraigned before the court, as a result of his failure to appear before it.
Ughanze urged the applicant’s counsel to exercise patience for arraignment notice to be served on the Maduagwuna, before hearing can proceed, as hearing notice cannot be served on him before the arraignment.
The magistrate who adjourned the matter to 11th May also warned that failure to appear in court on the next adjourned date may lead to a bench warrant being issued for his arrest.
Maduagwuna’s counsel, who appeared for him told the court that Maduagwuna was away in Abuja on a business trip, and could not also have been in court as the applicants had after obtaining the hearing notice pasted it on a wall at his residence, even though they knew he was not in town.
Anambra state government had in October 2015 refused to issue Maduagwuna with a certificate of recognition after the community petitioned to alert that he has not participated in the process for the election of a monarch.
Attempts to speak with Maduagwuna to get his reaction on the matter was not successful as his cell phone line remained unreachable.
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