Written by: Prince Ekanem Edohoeket.
It’s incontrovertible fact that the Privy court of London judgement of 1918, has placed a seal on Ekid ownership of the stubbs creek forest (Akoiyak). The Lords of the judicial committee of the privy council, who delivered judgement on the issue of ownership of Akoiyak(stubbs creek forest), on the above stated date, couldn’t have been wrong for those fenning the amber of wars to be right.
The recently ‘black market ‘ self help orchestrated by our Ibeno brothers, with attendance destruction of properties of Eket people, which prompted RH Iniobong Robinson Etebe, the Esit Eket council chairman, cum Aks Algon chairman to abandon the official engagement of e registration of PDP membership exercise, which took place yesterday, 26th October, 2021 to lead a delegation to the site of destruction for on the spot assessment of properties destroyed by Ibeno people, leave much to be desired. Etebe, I salute your sense of communalism.
At this point, we can’t afford to ignore the increasing need to holistically analyse the various mission to cripple the privy council judgement of 104 years ago.
.HOW THE JOURNEY TO PRIVY COUNCIL IN LONDON stated.
In 1910, Mkpanak and Ukpenekang fought over the ownership of Akoiyak(stubbs creek forest) and went to court.
The case of ibok Etuk Akpan versus Ntiaro and Edohoeket was not only a land mark case but a bequeathal of honor, wealth, prosperity and hope to the unborn generation. This case was heard in the divisional court of the Eastern division at calabar. In those days of the 20th century, when there were no roads, no telephone, no cars, no transportation of any sort, Obongisong Edohoeket(OBE),JP, the first paramount ruler of the then Eket District, enjoyed the respect of his brothers from all eket clan which religiously headed for the high court in calabar, treking the entire distance to Oron through thick forest to board the boat for the final lap of the journey. Only the historians can state how those trips were made through difficult terrain, but Oblong Edohoeket oblivous of the great danger made those trips thinking of the future and less of himself.
Eket won the case in February 1916. Ibeno appeal to the West African Court of Appeal(WACA) in Lagos. In 1916, eket still won. Ibeno appealed to privy council in London, Eket still won on 24th October, 1918.
The privy court judgement is on the internet, below is the link👇
OLATARUWA COMMISION of ENQUIRY/TRIBUNAL
When Brig. Gen U. J. Esuene was ousted in 1975, Bar Ukot was reappointed as Attorney General, he made an appeal to the new military governor then, to make a law putting Okposo and other areas of Okoiyak under Ibeno clan. The new governor wrote to Eket Divisional Government seeking their opinion on the subject. The Attorney General (Bar Ukot) proposal was rejected based on the overwhelming evidence presented to governor. In what took the form of Isreal Yumkipo war, where the entire Arab nations lunched a coordinated attacks to annihilate the state of Israel from world map, Oron and Ibeno lunched a well orchestrated claims over different parts of Akoiyak Ekid in1976.
A commission of Inquiry which was latter expanded as a tribunal was set up with Justice Olajide Olatawura as chairman. In a show of strength, Ibeno hired
Obafemi Awolowo. Oro pitched tent with Barr. Eneyo while Ekid was represented by Barr. M. Ekpe, , and G.A. Ikott. The Ekid legal team unearthed the legal trap that Bar Ukot ,the Attorney General had inserted while drafting the tribunal’s terms of reference, aimed at giving Akoiyak title to Oro and Ibeno.This was vehemently objected to by Ekid legal team. When Awolowo saw the overwhelming evidence presented by Eket legal team through instrumentality of privy court judgement, declined to embark on futile legal voyage, and aligned with Eket lawyers. The tribunal ended abruptly in 1977 without achieving the desired expectation. Oro latter sued Ekid in respect of Okposo in the high court in 1977 but abandon the case for reasons best known to them.
AKPATA COMMISION OF ENQUIRY 1993
According to available records, in the 1970s Ibeno secretly, rented out parts of stubb creek forest to a company called DECCA W.A, in 1993. Barr. Ukot presenteded this agreement in prove that Ibeno have been in possession of Okoiyak from time immemorial and therefore are the owners thereof at the Justice Akputa commission of enquiry. But Ekid legal time led by late Chief (Barr). Manfred A. Ekpe, in company of Barr. Assam E. Assam (as he was then), Barr. (Ms) Adiakpan, Barr. Uyouko S. Uyouko, shot down this argument as a fraud intentionally set up by Ukot to criple the 1918 privy court judgment.
The report of the Akputa commission of enquiry was in favor of Eket.
The above stated analysis were the various futile attempts orchestrated by Ibeno to cripple the privy council judgement of 104 years ago.
It’s pertinent for us to reaon in unison here: why is peace always a near mirage whenever the incumbent chairman of Ibeno is on the saddles of power?