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Courts clear the coast for coronation of 21st Olu of Warri

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Justice Bikoro Okolosi of Asaba High Court 2, on August 5, 2021, adjourned the suit filed by Princes Bernard Emiko and Oyowoli Emiko, immediate younger brother and eldest son of Ogiame Ikonwoli, the late Olu of Warri, respectively, to October 12 and 26, 2021, for hearing.

The late king had joined his ancestors on December 20, 2020.

The court adjournment has finally cleared the coast for Prince Tsola Emiko’s coronation on August 21, 2021, as the 21st Olu of Warri Kingdom.

A similar case filed by Chief Ayiri Emami, the allegedly suspended Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom, which came up earlier for hearing in High Court 3, Warri, on August 3, 2021, was also adjourned to September 28, 2021.

With the adjournment of the two cases, there is little or nothing hindering the ascension of Prince Tsola Emiko to the throne, as the 21st Olu of Warri Kingdom.

The plaintiffs had gone to court to challenge the process that led to the nomination of Emiko and his eventual emergence as the Omoba and Olu of Warri designate.

At the resumed hearing of the suit on August 5, 2021, in Asaba, both parties in the case, represented by their lawyers, had earlier moved that the matter be given accelerated hearing, even though there was no motion moved for the perpetual injunction to restrain Emiko as the Olu of Warri designate.

Justice Okolosi, after listening to the submissions of Emmanuel Uti, for the plaintiffs; and Amen Oriakhi, for the defendants, said, “If a decision must be taken in this matter, it must be done with due consideration of what the law says in matters like this. Whatever decision reached might trigger further crisis if not properly considered, hence the need for due diligence.”

The presiding judge therefore stressed, “I am happy that counsels to both parties, in this case, have agreed that 14 new defendants in the suit be joined with the 11 defendants when the case was initially filed, thus, bringing the total number of defendants in this particular chieftaincy dispute to 25.

“It would be unfair, if justice was done without proper ways of the law, and diligently followed, especially in matters concerning kingship crisis in the Delta State.”

“Now that both parties were bounded by the law to tidy up their motions, including joinders in this case, I will grant all applications in this case,” he added.

Justice Okolosi then directed the claimants in the case to properly file and serve all the parties involved in the matter, saying, “Once this is done, all the pending applications in this matter are hereby confirmed to be unnecessary, as all parties are now to comply with Order 27, Rule 2 of the Delta State High Court.”

Justice Okolosi further maintained, “I will be looking at all the motions moved critically, to see whether or not I have the powers to hear the case before me. Since there is no motion for interlocutory injunction to restrain the defendant in this matter before this court, I hereby adjourn this case to October, 12 and 26, 2021, respectively, for mentioning and continued hearing.”

Uti, lawyer to the plaintiffs, spoke to The Point after the adjournment.

He said, “We are happy with this adjournment, even though we never filed a motion for interlocutory injunction to restrain Prince Tsola Emiko from ascending the throne. But in the final analysis, we are sure of getting judgment in this matter, no matter how long it is dragged.

“As a matter of fact, we have seen similar situations or cases like this particular one, where traditional rulers, who were already crowned, were eventually removed from the throne, when the court in its wisdom ends up delivering judgment, just because such kings were illegally enthroned in the first instance.”

“We are sure to win this case and we are prepared. We have 14 new persons that were joined in this particular suit today in this court, and we are very happy with the presiding judge for using his discretion. We shall meet Prince Tsola Emiko’s supporters in court, come October 12 and 26, 2021,” he concluded.

Speaking in the same vein, lawyer to Emiko, the Olu of Warri designate, Amen Oriakhi, also expressed happiness over the adjournment of the case till October 12 and 26, 2021.

“This particular case has already been won because of the facts laced with evidence, because we have the grounds to do all that we are already doing in this case. We are sure of getting victory and victory we shall get at the end of the day,”
he said.

Not satisfied with the selection of Emiko as the Omoba Olu of Warri designate, Bernard Emiko, the younger brother of the immediate past Olu of Warri (Ogiame Ikonwoli), who is the Olori-Ebi (Head of the Family) of Ogiame Erejuwa II Ruling House, on June 16, 2021, approached a Warri High Court in a 17 page affidavit filed on his behalf by Chief E.L. Akpofure, SAN of E.L. Akpofure, SAN & Company, seeking nullification of the nomination and enthronement of Emiko as the Olu of Warri designate and eventual installation as the 21st Olu of Warri Kingdom.

Nine other persons were included in the suit. They are Pa. Akoma Dudin, the Olori-Ebi of the Ginuwa I Ruling House; Chief Ayiri Emami, the Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom; and member of the Olu Advisory Council, Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh.

The Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa; the Attorney-General of Delta State, the Iyatsere of Warri Kingdom/member of the Olu Advisory Council, Chief Gabriel Awala, the Uwangue of Warri Kingdom/Member of the Olu Advisory Council, Chief Yayah Pessu, the Ojomo of Warri Kingdom/Member of the Olu Advisory Council; Chief Isaac O. Jemide, the Oshodi of Warri Kingdom/Member of the Olu Advisory Council, were included in Suit No.W104/2021.

Emiko claimed, in the affidavit, that he was the Olori-Ebi of Ogiame Erejuwa II Ruling House of Warri Kingdom.
Ogiame Erejuwa II is the 18th Olu of Warri and the father of Ogiame Atunwase II, who is the father of Emiko and Ogiame Ikonwoli, the father of Oyowoli Emiko.

Bernard Emiko is asking the court to set aside and nullify the purported nomination and transmission of Prince Tsola Emiko, to Chief Ayiri Emami, the Ologbotere of Warri Kingdom, as the selection of Omoba (Olu designated) by Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh on February 18, 2021

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