Home Uncategorized Group Of kingmakers Petitions Ayade Over Obongship Stool As Crisis Deepens

Group Of kingmakers Petitions Ayade Over Obongship Stool As Crisis Deepens

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Andy Esiet , Calabar

Gov. Ben Ayade

As the crisis in the Obongship of Calabar deepens, a group of Etuboms, the kingmakers have petitioned the Cross River state governor, Senator Ben  Ayade seeking the de-recognition of Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu as the Obong of Calabar.

They said the governor should not recognize the purported January 18 selection and proclamation of Etubom Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu as Obong-elect as same was carried out by persons not qualified to do so. 

The Etuboms who referred to themselves as the “Legitimate Etuboms of the Obong’s Palace” in a press release made available to some newsmen on Thursday in Calabar, said the selection was not in accordance with the January 13, 2023 judgement of the Supreme Court that sacked Obong Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu and ordered for a fresh selection.

The release which was signed by Etubom Essien Ekpenyong Efiok as it’s Chairman,  Etubom Micah Archibong VI as Secretary and the Chairman Central Calabar Traditional Rulers Council and Paramount Ruler of Calabar South, Etubom Nyong Effiom Okon JP, said, “by the dictates of the judgments of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in Appeal No: SC663/2013 – Etubom Anthony Ani & Ors v. Etubom Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu and Ors and Appeal No: SC634/2013 – Etubom Anthony Ani & Ors v. Etubom Essien Ekpeyong Efiok and others delivered on the 13th of January 2023, Etubom Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu stands dethroned as the Obong of Calabar”.

They said, “this is because he was selected and proclaimed in an illegal manner not in consonance with the principles of equity, fairness and natural justice. Consequently, to all intents and purposes the throne of the Obong of Calabar is vacant.

“The order of the judgment is that the selection of the new Obong has to be based on the 2002 constitution of the Etuboms Traditional Rulers Council which presently has seven (7) surviving Etuboms including its Chairman and Secretary who are the only members who have the authority to convene any of the meetings of the Etuboms Traditional Rulers Council. Pursuant to article 5a(i) of the 2002 Constitution of the Etuboms Council the only Etuboms who can participate in the Etuboms Conclave are we the undersigned Etuboms who were in the Obongs Palace as at 31st of March 2008 as well as four other qualified Etuboms”.

They argued that, “this is so because all other persons now parading themselves as Etuboms were all not capped in line with 5a(i) of the 2002 constitution of the Etuboms Council as they were all capped by Etubom Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu who as a result of the court’s decision is deemed to never  have been the Obong of Calabar. Consequently, all his acts during the period in which he illegally occupied the throne are null, void and of no effect whatsoever”.

They said, “it is quite laughable that those selected and illegally capped by Etubom Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu are now the ones sitting down to select and proclaim him without any meeting called by the Western Calabar Traditional Rulers Council to deliberate on the matter”.

In view of this, the Etuboms among other things in their petitioned to the governor on January 20, stated that in light of the Supreme Court decision, the governor should “cause to be announced the takeover of the administration of the Obongs Palace by HRH Etubom Essien Ekpeyong Efiok as Chairman of the Etuboms Council so as to ensure an unbiased process of selecting a new Obong of Calabar in accordance with the letter and spirit of the decision of the Supreme Court of Nigeria”.

That the governor should also cause to be announced “the reinstatement of HRH Etubom Micah Archibong VI as secretary of the Etuboms Council a position he hitherto occupied as at 31st March 2008.

“Direct the Commissioner of Police and Heads of other security agencies in the state to seal off the palace of the Obong of Calabar allowing only those authorized to enter unto the premises to do so.

“To provide every necessary assistance required to carry out the task as set out by the judgment of the Supreme Court so as to lay to rest finally this issue and bring lasting peace and healing to the Efik Kingdom and by extension the whole of Cross River State”.

They said, “we the undersigned verily believe that these actions if carried out will reduce the desperate resort to self-help and the many illegalities being perpetrated by all manner of individuals. We also believe that this will allow the seven of us (qualified Etuboms and King makers) to call all parties to a roundtable where a decision will be made that will bring lasting peace, progress and development to the kingdom”.

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