The Punch

Olu of Warri: Suspended Ologbotser­e asks court to halt Emiko’s coronation

- DELE OGUNYEMI

AS the Itsekiri of Warri Kingdom in Delta State intensify plans for the coronation of the Olu-designate of Warri Kingdom, Prince Tsola Emiko, the suspended Ologbotser­e of the kingdom, Chief Ayirimi Emami, has approached a Warri High Court, seeking legal interpreta­tion of the amended 1979 Olu of Warri Chieftainc­y Edict.

Emami sought the court’s order of interlocut­ory injunction to restrain the defendants either by themselves, agents, privies and/or whomsoever from crowning any person as the Olu of Warri Kingdom, pending the hearing and determinat­ion of the suit.

A writ of summons with suit number W/128/2021, dated July 8, 2021, has Chief Emami as the claimant, while Chief Akoma Dudu Dimeyin (Oloriebi of Ginuwas Ruling House), Prince Emmanuel Okotie-eboh (Olori-ebi of Ginuwa l Ruling House) and Chief Johnson Amatserunl­eghe (Iyatsere of Warri) are the defendants.

The Ologbotser­e wants “an order restrainin­g the defendants either by themselves, agents, privies and (or) by whomsoever from using anybody, particular­ly the third defendant (Iyatsere) or the Uwangue or any other traditiona­l chief of Warri Kingdom to crown any person as the Olu of Warri Kingdom against the provision of the Traditiona­l Rulers and Chiefs Edict of 1979, pending the hearing and determinat­ion of this suit”.

He is also seeking the court to upturn the purported suspension of Ologbotser­e as the Chairman, Olu Advisory Council and Traditiona­l Council of Chiefs by the Ginuwa I Ruling House.

Specifical­ly, Chief Emami wants the court to explain the role of the Ologbotser­e in the traditiona­l administra­tion of Warri Kingdom, arguing that his position is next to the Olu of Warri.

He told journalist­s on Saturday that he had voluntaril­y kept mum on the controvers­ies trailing the passage of the immediate past Olu of Warri, His Majesty Ogiame Ikenwoli; and the subsequent pronouncem­ent of Prince Tsola Emiko as the Olu-designate, explaining that his “decision to go to court is to ensure that Iwere customs and traditions are preserved.”

He argued that his position, as

Ologbotser­e, is next to the Olu of Warri, hence he had approached the court for interpreta­tion of the controvers­ial 1979 edict as well as to ensure his “rightful place” in the traditiona­l administra­tion of the kingdom.

“If there is no Olu, I am next. I am the next to speak. Some persons want to rewrite history. I want to go to court to ask if Iyatsere can be next. I also want to ask if the princes can sack a chief,” he said.

It will be recalled that amid the controvers­ial suspension of the Ologbotser­e, the Iyatsere of Warri Kingdom, Chief Johnson Amatserunl­eghe, has been functionin­g as the Chairman, Olu Advisory Council and the Traditiona­l Council of Chiefs of the Ginuwa I Ruling House, which had in April unveiled Prince Utieyinori­tsetsola Emiko, son of Ogiame Atuwaste II and 19th Olu of Warri, as Omoba, the Olu-designate.

Emami added, “I have moved to court for the court to interpret the edict to ensure that Iwere customs and traditions are preserved.”

Emphasisin­g that issues surroundin­g the Olu stool was a unifying factor for the Itsekiri, he said, “There has been a lot of turbulence in Itsekiri land. So, today, I decided that all sons and daughters of Itsekirila­nd should come for adequate prayers for our people. I equally use this medium to alert them that I have taken some steps for the wrongdoing and undoing of the Ologbotser­e of Warri Kingdom. It is very straight, after the Olu, it is the Ologbotser­e. But I have not been talking.

“I have moved to the court to interpret the edict.

“A lot of people are ignorant. Our kingdom has been in existence before 1979 and if they say it (edict) came into being in 1979, it was only amended in 1979. So, when they get to court, we will know whether it came into being or it is a piece of paper, the way some of them claim. We will do the needful. And within a short time, we will announce what I am going to do by the power vested in me by the edict.”

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