PART 3: Okorocha rejects “Rule of Law”; dethrones Eze Cletus Ilomuanya

Eze-ilomuayaThe reinstated Chairman of the Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers and chairman of the South East Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Dr. Cletus Ilomuanya, yesterday resumed duty but was immediately dethroned by the state government amidst tight security.

The monarch, who had been having a legal battle with Governor Rochas Okorocha following his removal from office three years ago, stormed the parliament of the State Council of Ndieze adjacent the Imo Concorde Hotel, New Owerri in an ash colour Lexus jeep bearing the inscription “Obi of Obinugu”.

Accompanied by the leader of the movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, a chieftain of the Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA) Chief Dr. Vitalis Ajumbe, a former Deputy Speaker of the State Assembly, Chief Chuma Nnaji, the embattled Eze amidst cheers from friends and well wishers inspected the office block and facilities within the complex before retiring to his office.

Surprisingly, the state government in a letter with reference SG1/S.1166/X signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Anthony Anwuka, announced the immediate withdrawal of the certificate of recognition and staff of office of Eze Ilomuanya along with that of traditional ruler of Lagwa Autonomous community in Aboh Mbaise Local Government.

Citing sections 11 and 14 of the state traditional rulers autonomous communities’ law no 6 of 2006 for its action, the state government explained that the affected monarchs ceased to be the recognised ruler of their respectively communities, directing secretaries of the community government councils to immediately liaise with the state government pending the selection and presentation of another Eze in accordance with the custom and constitution of their community.

However, Ilomuanya, who addressed newsmen recalled the travail and agony which visited him while out of office, said that his three years exit was a darkness that descended on the traditional institution of the state, but quickly declared that he bore no grudges against the state government that ousted him.

The monarch explained that although he has a constitutional tenure of five years as passed by the State House Assembly, he would have resigned midway if Governor Okorocha had informed him properly that he could not work with him.

Insisting that the rule of law must be obeyed by all irrespective of one’s position, the monarch disclosed that he had not been paid since he left office on the 6th of June 2011, even as three of his vehicles are still in the custody of the state government.

He explained that he was compelled to seek redress in law Court to protect the traditional institution so that whoever succeeds him would serve out his constitutional tenure.

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