Home Uncategorized Controversies, Rejection Continue To Trail Obongship Throne Of Calabar 

Controversies, Rejection Continue To Trail Obongship Throne Of Calabar 

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Gov Bassey Otu

The Supreme Court recognized Etuboms Traditional Rulers’ Council (TRC) of the palace  of the Obong  of Calabar has rejected the decision of the Cross River state government recognising Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu bong of Calabar.

The state government had  in a statement dated November 7, 2023 recognized Abasi-Otu as the Obong of Calabar thus sparking up further controversies over the revered Efik throne.

Going by the decision  of the Supreme court judgment in suit number Sc/633/2013, those who were qualified  to conduct  the screening  of Candidates  for the new selection  process  were Etubom  Essien Ekpenyong  Efiok as Chairman  and Etubom Micah Archibong  as Secretary respectively. 

In a media briefing  in Calabar on Wednesday,  the duo said they had  duly complied  with the Supreme court judgment  by inviting  all candidates  eligible  to contest for the position  of Obong of Calabar  and screened  those who presented  themselves  for that purpose .

 According to them,  Etubom Anthony  Asuquo  Ani was found qualified  and same proclamation had been made pending  when the official coronation  will take place.

The Etuboms stated pointedly  that  the Governor of Cross River State,  Senator Prince Bassey Edet Otu has  been misled into taking a position  which contradicts  the  judgment  of the Supreme court of  Nigeria. 

According to them,  the Supreme court judgment was very clear without  any ambiguity  when it called for fresh selection process where  qualified  Etuboms from western  Calabar should be in the contest  and be guided  by the 2002 constitution  of the palace  and the 2008 composition  of the traditional  Rulers Council. 

This process,  they said “was not carried  out as prescribed by the judgment  rather those who were not qualified to  conduct the screening of Candidates  were allowed  to take part and these persons were not Etuboms  abinitio”. 

They also.faulted the Governor’s position  which relied on a September 25, 2022 decision  in suit number  Hc/133/2019 adding that  “this matter  has no relevance with  the Supreme court judgment  of  January 13 , 2023.which was quite explicit”. 

The  traditional rulers stated emphatically  that Etuboms Bassey Okor Bassey Duke, Otu Efa Otu, Etinyin Ekpo Archibong  and Architect Bassey Eyo Ndem contemptuously disobeyed the orders of Hon. Justice  Ukpai Ibitam by voting  in the so-called  selection process  as they put it.

Again, they said there is no high  court  judgment  delivered on the subject matter of September 25, 2022 adding  that they were all part of the Supreme court judgment  and are today insisting the proper exercise  be carried out while declaring  the previous  one as Fraudulent. 

Citing page 39 , paragraphs 1,2,and 3 of Sc/633/2013 as follows, “as the court of appeal  asked in these circumstances,  can the two sets of respondents  in good, claim and maintain that the first appellant was afforded  a fair hearing or that  the selection process  which ended in the proclamation of the first respondent  as the Obong of Calabar  did not breach the essential  requirements  of natural  justice? The answer is that they cannot.  It is for this reason that I wholeheartedly  agree with the court of appeal”.

But it is my view that justice in this case demands western Calabar  traditional council  which was mandated to select an Etubom from amongst  themselves who shall be the Obong of Calabar  should go back to the drawing board and start the process  on a clean slate, he said.

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