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.