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HomeNIGERIACourt stops Obiano from suspending Anambra traditional rulers

Court stops Obiano from suspending Anambra traditional rulers

A state High Court has issued an order stopping Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, from suspending, dethroning, or replacing three traditional rulers.

Governor Obiano, a few months ago, suspended 12 traditional rulers for traveling to Abuja to visit President Muhammadu Buhari.

The governor said the monarch traveled out of Anambra State without obtaining the state government’s permission and therefore stand suspended for one year. The suspended monarchs are Igwe Alex Edozieuno of Mkpunandu, Igwe Mark Anthony Okonkwo of Alor, Igwe Chukuwma Bob Vincent Orji of Ezinifiti, Igwe Engr G.B.C Mbakwe of Abacha, Igwe Chijioke Nwankwo of Nawfia, Igwe Nkeli Nelly of Igbariam, and Igwe Anthony Onyekwere of Owelle.

Others are: Igwe A. N Onwuneme of Ikenga, Igwe Simon Ikechukwu Chidubem of Umumbo, Igwe S. O Uche of Ezira, Igwe Dr Emeka Ilouno of Ifitedunu and Igwe Peter Ikegbunem Udoji of Eziagulu Otu.

In its order, in a suit instituted by three traditional rulers –  Igwe Simeon Chidubem (Umumbo), Igwe G.B.C Mbakwe (Abacha), and Igwe Chijioke Nwankwo (Nawfia) – the court said the suspension of the traditional rulers was unconstitutional.

Following the court’s order, other affected traditional rulers are making efforts to challenge the state government’s action in suspending them.

The monarchs argued that their suspension was an infringement on their fundamental human rights and unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, the Progressive Youth Association of Nigeria, Anambra State wing, has called for a presidential intervention on the plight of the traditional rulers suspended by Governor Obiano. In a press statement by the group, signed by Prince Chuks Nnanyelu and Emmy Orji, the youth association wondered how traditional rulers who accompanied a notable Igbo son, Prince Arthur Eze, for a thank you visit to President Buhari should be dethroned and replaced by the government for traveling out of the state. The group wondered which section of the Nigerian constitution the Anambra State government “derived the power to ask a Nigerian citizen not to exercise his constitutional right of freedom of movement and association.”

It said no section of the constitution grants anybody the right to interfere with the movement of any other Nigerian.

“The present action of the state government was in complete disobedience and violation of the letters and spirit of the Nigerian constitution as regards the right of association and movement,” the group said.

 Ever since the monarchs were suspended, there have been mixed reactions from organizations and stakeholders in Anambra  State.

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