By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU-ALARMED by its sudden discovery that their traditional ruler was not recognized by the state government, some aggrieved members of Ameke-Ngwo community in Udi local government area of Enugu state have dragged HRH Igwe Jerome Okolo to the state high court for none possession of any certificate of return as a monarch for 16 years.
Igwe Okolo has been known as the traditional ruler of the industrial Ameke-Ngwo autonomous community since 2003 when the then Governor Chimaroke Nnamani created numerous autonomous communities from their orthodox towns.
However two members of the community, Chief Ejike Ani and Chief N.L Ukwuani in April this year approached the Enugu state high court, claiming that Okolo was never issued with any certificate of return; was not published in any state gazette as monarch and had illegally paraded himself as a traditional ruler for 16 years.
When the matter came up for hearing, yesterday, counsel to Okolo, Ijeoma Nwonye pleaded for adjournment for a next date to enable her exhibit a certified true copy of the certificate of return she had already tendered in her counter affidavit.
Counsel to the applicants, Mr. Alex Amujiogu however raised objection to adjournment, stating that the defendant was served several months ago and had already filled necessary documents in his counter affidavit waiting for the hearing.
The trial Judge, Justice A.A Nwobodo however adjourned the matter to November 4 for proper arguments on the matter.
The aggrieved community members in their originating summons are asking for a declaration that Okolo was never the traditional ruler of Ameke-Ngwo going by section 7 of the traditional rulers’ law of Enugu state cap 151, 2004 (Revised edition).
They are also seeking for an order compelling Okolo to return all incomes, emoluments, benefits and incentives he “falsely” received on the pretence that he was a monarch; and also for N50 million damages.