By Daniel Gumm &Â Â Â Â Luka Binniyat
ABUJA â€” Elders of Urhoboland, yesterd-ay, in Abuja condemned statements made by Chief Edwin Clark in which heÂ protested that the trial Judge handling theÂ case of Chief James Ibori â€“ former Gover-nor of Delta State â€“ be removed from the case.
The elders also lampooned Chief Clark for alleging that the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Michael Aondokaa was plotting to set free Chief Ibori through the creation of the Asaba division of the Federal High Court.
Addressing the press, yesterday, on behalf of Urhobo Chiefs and Elders, Chief Peter Kpogan said,Â â€œwhat Chief E. K. Clark has been doing amounts to vexation and irritating meddlesomeness designed to destract the Judge and the court process.
â€œSince his recent actions amount to contempt, Chief Clark should be arraigned for contempt and summarily tried for same,â€ he said
â€œChief Clark is exercising his freedom of speech,â€ he went on, â€œbut his liberty to do so must not be an obstacle to truth and fairness.
â€œAs a citizen of Delta State, and indeed Nigeria, his interest in the matter is already being represented by the Fedeal Government which is prosecuting the case on behalf of everyone.
â€œThe Ijaw Chief should not ascribe to himself alone the executive capacity to make noise in order to draw unearned attention to himself always. He must allow the case involving the former governor of Delta State to run its full course, and stop meddling in a matter that is before a court of competent jurisdiction. It is the court that would determine the case as provided for in the countryâ€™s constitution,â€ he added.
Meanwhile, the Itsekiri Democratic League (IDL), yesterday, said the state-ments by the Oghara elders which was signed by Chief Oboh, the Iyasere of Oghara, must be taken seriously in view of the history behind Chief Clarkeâ€™s recent hatred for Ibori.
The Itsekiri group noted that, â€œprior to the emergence of Dr. Uduaghan as the flag-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2007 gubernatorial election, Chiefs E. K. Clark and Ibori were in concubi-nage and always hands in glove, particularly during the period when Itsekiri lands were being invaded by their neighbours.â€
The group said the relationship immediately turned sour when Dr. Uduaghan was proclaimed the PDP flag-bearer for Delta State, â€œa phenomenon which Clark could not tolerate, given the fact that Uduaghan is of Itsekiri extractionâ€.
â€œSince then Clark has not stopped blaming Ibori for the emergence of Uduaghan as governor and using all fora to seek revenge.â€
According to the Itsekiri group, the transfer of cases from one jurisdiction to another is not new in law and Clark as â€œa lawyer ought to know this.â€
Speaking further, the leader of the group, Mr Johnson Oghomone called on Chief Clark to stop meddling in judicial matters in any guise.