Delta concedes to withdrawal of Iyase’s Chieftaincy certificate 

Delta State government sued as Defendants in Suit Nos. A/49/2019 and A/62/2019, has filed a defence conceding to the claims brought by HRM Obi A. Okonjo, the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom, against the Delta State governor and others.

The state’s Attorney-General/Commissioner for Justice has on behalf of the Governor of Delta State is praying the Delta State High Court to declare the Registration and Certificate of Registration issued to one Mr. Mike Nwaukoni as the Iyase of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom illegal, null and void.

The grounds upon which the Delta State government as a neutral party threw conceded as could be gleaned from the eight paragraph Defence filed in Court recently on behalf of the governor of the state and the Attorney-General as 1st and 2nd Defendants respectively.

The grounds included “By the Chieftaincy Laws of Delta State, it is the Traditional Ruler of a Community described as the Prescribed Authority that is vested with the power or right to forward the name of a person to the Delta State Government for Registration or Recognition as a Traditional Chief within his Kingdom.

“Obi Prof. Aninshi Okonjo, the then gazetted Obi and Prescribed Authority of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom, never forwarded the name of Mr. Mike Nwaukoni to the Delta State Government for Registration as Iyase of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom and did not give his consent to anybody to do so; rather, Mr. Mike Nwaukoni bypassed the Obi whose duty it was to forward his name and went directly to the Delta State Government with a Supreme Court Judgement claiming to have been declared the Iyase and got himself registered as such.

“Upon filing of the above Suit by the Delta State Government, Hon. Peter Mrakpor, SAN, studied the Supreme Court Judgement by which Mr. Nwaukoni got himself registered as the Iyase of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom and discovered that the Supreme Court never declared Mr. Mike Nwaukoni the Iyase of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom but simply set aside the High Court Judgement, Court of Appeal Judgement and the Notice of Appeal to the Supreme Court in the Iyase Chieftaincy tussle between Mr. Mike Nwaukoni and one Mr. Collins Afuwa, as being null and void and of no Legal effect.

“With the above discovery, coupled with the fact that even if the Supreme Court had declared Mr. Mike Nwaukoni to be the valid Iyase as he misled Government into believing, he had a duty to notify his King or Obi who is the only one authorised under the Chieftaincy Laws of Delta State to forward his name or the name of anybody to the Delta State Government for Registration as a Chief within his Kingdom, the then Honourable Attorney-General, Peter Mrakpor, SAN, decided to sue for peace with the Claimant, Obi Prof. C.A. Okonjo 1st, executed and filed Terms of Settlement on behalf of the Delta State Government represented by his Excellency, the Governor of Delta State, conceding that the self Registration of Mr. Mike Nwaukoni was erroneous and ought to be withdrawn, being in violation of the rights of the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom under the Chieftaincy Laws.”

Mr. Mike Nwaukoni, in reaction, sued Hon. Peter Mrakpor, SAN, before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) but after hearing, the LPDC dismissed Mr. Mike Nwaukoni’s Petition on the ground that Hon. Peter Mrakpor, SAN, as the Attorney-General and Chief Law Officer of the State, acted within the powers and rights lawfully vested in him.

Thereafter, the Governor of Delta State and Hon. Attorney-General, sued as 1st and 2nd Defendants, through the new Hon. Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Hon. Isaiah Bozimo, filed their Defence through a Senior State Counsel, Efode Erheriene, Esq., conceding to the Claimants case of wrongful registration of Mr. Mike Nwaukoni as the Iyase of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom and the prayers to set aside the said Registration.

Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned to 23/6/2022 for hearing by the Ogwashi-Uku High Court presided over by Hon. Justice Okpu.

All attempts to reach the Ogwashi-Uku Palace Secretary Prince Ifeakanachukwu Emordi was unfruitful as he did not return several calls and messages sent to his phone number.

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