….sets aside Sept. 19 for commencement of hearing
By Chuks Eke
An Awka High Court in Anambra state, presided over by Justice Ike Ogu has granted an ex-parte motion seeking for an accelerated hearing of an originating summons challenging the validity of the recent selection of Chief Sunday Ezeofor as the new traditional ruler of Umuona community in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra state.
The court also set aside September 19, 2023 as the date for the commencement of hearing of the suit.
The ex-parte motion was filed by the traditional prime minister of Umuona, Chief Jerome Okoye Umeh and Caesar Chinegbu, former President-General of Umuona Progressive Union, UPU as plaintiffs/applicants against the incumbent President-General of UPU, Chief Kenneth Okoli and five other defendants/respondents.
Other defendants/respondents are Gilbert Obiakunwa, Vice-President, UPU; Engr. Anthony Muobike, Secretary-General, UPU; Mr. Chukwudi Ogbuawa, Provost, UPU; Engr. Anthony Okoli and Sunday Ikechukwu Ezeofor who was purportedly selected by the 1st to 5th defendants/respondents recently as the Igwe-elect of Umuona town.
According to Justice Ike Ogu in his ruling, “upon hearing and considering this motion ex-parte together with the affidavit in support deposed to by Jerome Okoye Umeh, the first plaintiff/applicant and after hearing the submission of Chief Uwaoma A. Mbuko, counsel to the plaintiffs/applicants, it is hereby ordered that the substantive suit that is the originating summons between the plaintiffs/applicants Vs the defendants pending before this court is
hereby given accelerated hearing starting from September 19, 2013”.
In the Suit No. A/190/2023 and A/1006M/2023, the plaintiffs/applicants are asking the court to declare that the recent purported selection of the 6th defendant/respondent, Chief Sunday Ikechukwu Ezeofor as the Igwe-elect of Umuona by the 1st to 5th defendants/respondents was unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.
Insisting that Ezeofor’s purported selection as the traditional ruler of Umuona when Igwe Humphrey O. Ejesieme is still on the throne for about 10 years now and has not been deposed by the state government was in total breach of the 1998 Edition of Umuona town constitution, the plaintiffs/applicants also prayed the court to restrain Ezeofor from parading himself as the Igwe-elect of Umuona, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
The plaintiffs/applicants are further praying the court to declare that the purported recent election of Ezeofor as Igwe-elect of Umuona town vitiated the 1998 edition of the town’s constitution.
They therefore sought an injunction restraining the 6th defendant/respondent, Ezeofor from parading himself as an Igwe-elect of Umuona town, whether in Umuona or elsewhere, adding that the court should restrain him from presenting himself or offering himself to be presented for recognition by the Anambra state government as Igwe-elect of Umuona town.
The plaintiffs/applicants insisted that in accordance with the Constitution of Umuona, Chief Humphrey O. Ejesieme has not been deposed as the person elected by Umuona to occupy the office of Igwe of Umuona created by and under the constitution of Umuona town.