Court stops installation of Catholic Bishop

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BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
THE crisis between the Bini and the Benin Catholic Arch Diocese over the appointment of a substantive Bishop for the Diocese, worsened, weekend, following an order by an Edo State High Court, Benin, restraining the caretaker Bishop of the Diocese, Bishop Anthony Gbuji, from installing Bishop Augustine Akubueze, as the substantive Bishop of the  Diocese.

The court also restrained Bishop Akubueze from presenting himself for installation scheduled for April 28  2011, pending the hearing on the motion.

Three Bini sons, Pa Osakue Vincent, Mr. A. Ayemwenre and Chris Aghimien, for themselves and on behalf of the Edo Liturgical Group of the Catholic Archdiocese of Benin, had gone to the court, praying it to restrain Bishop Akubueze from presenting himself for the scheduled installation for April 28. They also prayed the court to restrain the caretaker Bishop of the Diocese, Bishop Gbuji from “ taking any further step to actualise Akubueze’s said wrongful appointment or installation pending the hearing of the motion on notice.”

Trial judge in the matter, Justice R. Amaize, in granting the order, said “after sober considerations of the facts deposed to in the affidavit filed in support of this one-sided motion, technically called motion ex-parte, and having listened to the learned Silk for applicants, especially his explanation as to why the officer called Papal Legate (Nuncio) is not made a party to this suit, ie, that he enjoys diplomatic immunity, being the representative in Nigeria of the Holy See.

“I am easily satisfied of the need to make the orders sought. I, therefore, hold that the motion succeeds and it is granted,” the court said.

The Benins are insisting that one of the Benin priest should be installed Bishop as a result, rejected Bishop Akubueze because he is from the Igbo extraction.

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