Just incase you missed the explanation from the Imo State Government on why Governor Okorocha dethroned Eze Cletus Ilomuanya and Eze Cosmos Onyeneke, here’s a copy of the Press statement made available to IMO STATE BLOG.COM
RE: THE DETHRONEMENT OF CLETUS ILOMUANYA AND COSMOS ONYENEKE AS TRADITIONAL RULERS
It has come to the attention of the Government of Imo State that some persons are mixing up the two different actions taken by His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha, in 2011 and 2014 as they affected the former traditional ruler of Obinugwu Autonomous Community, Cletus Ilomuanya in particular.
The removal of Ilomuanya from office as Chairman, Imo State Council of Ndi-Eze and as Traditional Ruler of Obinugwu Autonomous Community are two different issues.
In 2011, the Governor removed him as the Chairman, Imo State Council of Ndi Eze and the removal had also attracted a ruling of the Appeal Court and a pending appeal at the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
In other words, the removal of Ilomuanya as the Chairman of the Traditional Rulers Council certainly is quite different from his removal on June 6, as the traditional ruler of Obinugwu Autonomous Community. Also removed on the same day was Cosmos Onyeneke, as the Traditional Ruler of Lagwa Autonomous Community.
However, in the case of Ilomuanya, one has to be an Eze, to become the Chairman of the State Council of traditional rulers. This can be easily understood.
Again, the removal of the two Traditional Rulers on Friday, June 6, 2014 by His Excellency, the Executive Governor of the State, was in the exercise of powers duly conferred on him under Traditional Rulers, Autonomous Communities and Allied Matters in Imo State, Law No. 6 of 2006.
It should also be noted that the two traditional rulers involved have no personal problems with either the governor or the government in the State. The issues involved were purely institutional and not personal. And should be seen as such.
It should also be recalled that following serious petitions to the Imo State House of Assembly against the two traditional rulers involved by indigenes of their respective communities, the leadership of the Assembly constituted a 5-man adhoc committee to investigate the issues contained in the petitions.
As a responsible government, we appreciate the fact that the two people involved are indigenes of the State. So, we won’t go the whole hog to begin to discuss the findings of the Assembly here. But at the end of that exercise, the Assembly not only recommended, but also passed resolutions 376 and 377 respectively on Thursday, December 15, 2011 that the governor should, without delay, remove them as traditional rulers.
In line with its human face posture, the government kept both the report, recommendations and resolutions of the Assembly in abeyance and didn’t dethrone the two traditional rulers immediately as recommended and resolved by the Assembly. Before June 6, 2014, Ilomuanya had stopped attending meetings of the traditional rulers and also stopped attending state functions in breach of section 14 of the Imo State Traditional Rulers Autonomous Communities law and had since 3 years, relocated to Abuja where he functioned more as a politician.
We should not also lose sight of the fact that both the Ezeship stool and the chairmanship of the traditional rulers council in the State are all properties of the State government. But since Ilomuanya was removed as the chairman of the Council, he had carried on as if to say, there is no government in the state again.
What Governor Okorocha had tolerated from Ilomuanya preceding his dethronement, no former governor of the State whether civilian or military, would have tolerated it. As if that was not enough, he stormed the headquarters of the traditional rulers council with more than two hundred armed mobile police men and more than fifty armed thugs, held the workers hostage and created undue panic.
It is also important to state and categorically too, that by virtue of the removal of Ilomuanya as both the traditional ruler of Obinugwu Autonomous Community and as the Chairman of the State Council of traditional rulers, he can no longer parade himself as such. To do so, would tantamount to impersonation.
The general public, and Imo people in particular, and indeed, all the relevant agencies including security outfits in and outside the State have been duly informed and advised to take due note of these developments.
Senior Special Assistant
To the Governor on Media