The Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu, yesterday ended the 19-year old protracted Igweship tussle between Amobi royal family of Ogidi community in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State and the Ogidi Union Nigeria, with a unianimous judgement in favour of Ogidi Union.
In a unanimous judgement read on behalf of two other Appeal Court judges, Justice Martin Elechi reaffirmed the December 12’ 2012 judgement earlier delivered by an Ogidi High Court in favour of the Ogidi Union to the effect that the Igweship throne is not hereditary to Amobi royal family.
Dismissing the appeal filed by the Amobi family challenging the Ogidi High court judgement which earlier ruled that the Ogidi royal throne is not hereditary to Amobi royal family, the Appeal court said it was relying on the constitution of Ogidi Union which states that any Ogidi man from the four quarters is eligible to contest the Igweship position because the throne is not hereditary to Amobi family.
Dismissing the appeal by Amobi family for lack of merit, the court maintained that although the royal throne started from Amobi family and remained there for many year till the. demise of Igwe Walter Amobi barely 19 years ago, it does not mean that the throne should be an exclusive property of Amobi family, as the appellants are canvassing.
In his reaction shortly after the judgement, a senior member of the legal team to the Ogidi union (the respondents), Ifeatu Obi-Okoye who held brief for Ilochi Okafor (SAN), thanked the court for what he termed its erudite judgement, while the lead counsel to the appellants, Emeka Offordile (SAN), did not indicate whether they would go to the Supreme Court to challenge the Appeal court verdict which reaffirmed the Ogidi High court judgement.
Back home at Ogidi yesterday, the royal father, Igwe Alex Onyido, a pharmacist, commenced the celebration of his maiden ofala annual cultural festival to bring the activities marking his ascendancy to the royal throne to conclusion.
Onyido and his entire cabinet members, including the traditional Prime Minister of Ogidi, Onowu Ifeanyi Udokwu, the President-General of Ogidi Union Nigeria, Chief Jideofor Onubuogu and the Okparaeke Ogidi, Chief Emeka Ben Nwabueze, were into a festive mood as soon as they heard that the Appeal court verdict went in their favour.
Both the royal father, his Onowu, Udokwu and Onubuogu, told newsmen at the ofala venue at about N100 million had been mapped out for youth empowerment and peace restoration as soon as the ofala festival is over.