Saturday 23rd September, 2017
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Rivers: Court resolves Rebisi Chieftaincy stool tussle

Rivers: Court resolves Rebisi Chieftaincy stool tussle

A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has af­firmed the order sacking Prince Victor Woluchem as the Paramount ruler of Port Harcourt City Local Gov­ernment Area.
The presiding Judge, Monima W. Danagogo, made the order, while rul­ing on application of stay execution brought by the 1st Defendant in the king­ship tussle matter, Victor Woluchem through his lawyer, OCJ Okocha (SAN) asking the court to set aside its earlier order restraining him from parading him­self as the Eze Apara Rebisi kingdom in the Port Har­court city local government area of the state.
Justice Danagogo in his ruling said the order made by the court remained sacrosanct and cannot be vacated pending the deter­mination of the substantive suit before it, adding that the decision of the court in “this order was to protect the integrity of the court as well promote confidence among all the parties in­volved in the matter.”
The presiding Judge, also noted that the order made by the court on Novem­ber 2, 2016, was to validate and revived the order made by Justice T.S Orji in April 2014, which also retrained all parties and that they maintain statuesque on the matter pending the deter­mination of the court.
He recalled that the im­mediate past administra­tion under former Gov­ernor Chibuike Amaechi erred in law by recognising Prince Victor Woluchem as the paramount ruler of Port Harcourt, despite the sub­sisting court order.
The Judge maintained that the court order made in 2014 as well as 2016 still stand pending the deter­mination of the suit in the court. He adjourned the matter till June 6, 2017 for continuation of hearing.
Speaking with The AU­THORITY after the ruling in the court premises, law­yer to the 2nd – 7th defen­dants in the matter, Chief Chima Boms commended the court ruling for refus­ing to grant the applica­tion of stay of execution brought by Prince Victor Woluchem.
Boms said the refusal of the court to grant the ap­plication has reawaken the confidence of other parties involved in the matter as well protect the integrity of the court.
Also speaking on the matter in his office in Port Harcourt, the Chairman, Council of Chiefs, Port Harcourt city council area, Chief Azubuike Nmerukini said the Rebisi community has been peaceful since the exit of Prince Victor Wo­luchem as the paramount ruler, adding that the peo­ple of the area were happy and united ever than before.
Chief Nmerukini who is also the Chairman Local Government Service Com­mission also dismissed the claims that there may be possible crisis in the area following the court order.
He assured that there was nothing to fear as the area remains peaceful and hos­pitable
It would be recalled that following the controversies surrounding the succes­sion to the throne upon the death of the immediate past ruler, late HRM Sunday Woluchem, Uche Elikwu was installed as paramount ruler of Rebisi on August 20, 2013, while Victor Wo­luchem was also installed with same title that same day.
The plaintiff, Chief Eme­ka Anyabelem, headed for the court, challenging the installation of the two, claiming that, as a grand­son of the initial ruler of the Apara community, it was his turn to occupy the stool which is rotational amongst the seven legitimate sons of Apara.

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