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News - South East - Anambra Updated: February 22, 2024

Monarch sues Gov Soludo for N50m over alleged removal as traditional ruler

By Adekunle Obas
February 22, 2024
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In a legal battle concerning the traditional rulership of Umuona community in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra state, Igwe Humphrey Ejesieme has taken Governor Chukwuma Soludo and four others to court, seeking N50 million as punitive and aggravated damages.

Igwe Ejesieme accuses the 2nd to 5th defendants of misleading Governor Soludo into approving the withdrawal of his certificate of recognition as the traditional ruler of Umuona.

In the statement of claim filed by his legal counsel, Chief Ikenna Egbuna SAN, Igwe Ejesieme also seeks a declaration that the selection of the 5th defendant, Ezeofor, as the Igwe of Umuona is null and void.

He demands an order compelling Governor Soludo to restore his Certificate of Recognition and an injunction restraining the Governor from granting a certificate of recognition to Ezeofor.

Igwe Ejesieme argues that his alleged removal did not follow due process and is therefore null and void. Despite the absence of a fixed date for the hearing of the civil suit, the 5th defendant, Ezeofor, who currently holds the chieftaincy certificate as the incumbent traditional ruler of Umuona, has teamed up with the factional President-General of UPU to file an application for the enforcement of their fundamental human rights.

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The fundamental human rights suit seeks to restrain law enforcement agencies from further threats or coercion against the applicants. It also demands compensation of N50 million for the violation of their fundamental rights.

However, the police have arraigned Igwe Ejesieme before an Aguata Magistrate court on charges related to portraying himself as the Igwe of Umuona and performing traditional ceremonies despite the recognition of Ezeofor as the traditional ruler.

In response, Igwe Ejesieme pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail pending further court proceedings. The legal battle reflects the complexity of the dispute over traditional rulership in Umuona and underscores the challenges faced in resolving such conflicts within the legal framework.

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