C’River monarchs caution Otu against flouting court order
Some members of Etuboms Traditional Council (ETC) in the Palace of Obong of Calabar have cautioned the Governor of Cross State, Bassey Otu, and his government against acting contrary to the Supreme Court judgment in the selection of the traditional ruler.
The factional Chairman of ETC, Etubom Essien Ekpenyong Efiok, gave the advice in a letter addressed to Otu of Cross River, according to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The letter, dated November 9, was in reaction to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the state government, Emmanuel Ogbeche, recognising Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V as the Obong of Calabar.
Ogbeche, in the statement, said: “The governor, having undertaken a judicial review of the State High Court and Supreme Court rulings as well as the constitution of the Obong’s Palace and interlaced with royal fathers, resolves that the issue of waiver for qualification of a candidate to contest the Obong Stool is untenable.”
“That His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi V, remains the validly selected and elected Obong of Calabar and the patriarch of Efik Kingdom.” But the ETC Chairman, in the letter he personally signed, said: “We are writing to express our concern over your letter, dated the 7th day of November, 2023 about the position of the Cross River State Government on the traditional stool of the Obong of Calabar.
“We issue our response expressing our informal view that the state government could not take such a position in a matter adjudicated and determined by the highest court of the land.
“Otherwise, how else would a government bent on protecting the Efik throne from ‘judicial, social, and political scorn,’ as expressed in its release, inject itself into an affray by political fiat?”
It claimed that by its action, the Cross River State Government implied that it had statutory powers to conduct a judicial review of a competent court judgment and overrule the Supreme Court to settle the chieftaincy disputes of the Efiks of Cross River State.
“In the light of the above, we cannot accept the state government’s position as contained in the press release of 7th of November, 2023.
“We hope this information will help you make a more informed decision in the interest of equity, fairness, natural justice and peace,” he said.
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