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Wike obeys court, replaces Worluchem with Elikwu as Rebisi monarch

By Ann Godwin, Port Harcourt
18 November 2021   |   2:57 am
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has formally presented a certificate of recognition and staff of office to Eze Uchechukwu Isaiah Elikwu, as the Eze Epara Rebisi XII, in obedience to court directives.

Wife of the King of Rebisi XII, Mrs Juliet Elikwu (left); King of Rebisi XII, Eze Uchechukwu Isaiah-Elikwu; Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and Chairman, Rivers State Council of Traditional rulers, The Amayanabo of Opobo Kingdom, King Dandeson Dauglas-Jaja at the presentation of certificate and staff of office to Eze Uchechukwu Isaiah-Elikwu as the king of Rebisi XII by the Governor in Port Harcourt…yesterday. PHOTO: NAN<br />

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has formally presented a certificate of recognition and staff of office to Eze Uchechukwu Isaiah Elikwu, as the Eze Epara Rebisi XII, in obedience to court directives.

The court had declared that Elikwu was the rightful person to occupy the position of Eze Epara Rebisi because his coronation and selection passed due process in accordance with the Rebisi custom and chieftaincy protocols.

In a statement signed yesterday by Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, the governor said the presentation had to be performed by him because of the importance of the stool to the state government, and also to ensure peace in the area.

At a brief ceremony in the Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike explained that when he came on board as governor in 2015, Victor Worluchem was the occupant of the stool has been so recognised by the previous administration.

According to him, there was, therefore, no need to interfere in the dispute around the traditional stool since the matter was already in court.

Wike also said his administration secured the understanding of parties in the dispute to maintain the peace and status quo while they awaited court judgment.

“So as the ninth defendant in the case, the court directed not only should we recognise the plaintiff (Uchechukwu Elikwu) as the Eze Epara Rebisi, but we should go ahead and revoke the recognition of Victor Worluchem.

“As a law-abiding government, we must obey court order. We don’t choose the one to obey, and the one not to obey.”

Wike, therefore, signed the legal instrument to revoke the recognition that Victor Worluchem had enjoyed before signing the instrument to recognise Eze Elikwu as the Eze Epara Rebisi.

He said: “And so, by the powers conferred on me, on the 15th of November, 2021, when the judgment came out and by legal opinion of the Attorney General, I signed the instrument withdrawing the recognition of Prince Victor Woluchem as Eze Epara Rebisi, which, of course, is a first-class traditional chieftaincy stool.

“So that instrument of revocation and withdrawal was done on the 15th of November, 2021 while the instrument of recognition of the new Eze Epara Rebisi, who is, by the grace of God, Uchechukwu Elikwu, was signed on the 16th of November, 2021. And today, we are here to present that certificate of recognition and staff of office.”

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