by crossriverwatch admin
Two months after the Appeal Court sitting in Calabar upheld the ruling of a High Court sacking the Obong of Calabar who was subsequently re-installed by the king makers, another paramount king in Calabar, the Muri Munene of the Efut nation has been nullified by another High Court.
Calabar High Court 8 presided over by Justice Elias Abua today said for failing to submit himself to another selection process ordered by the Cross River State Government on 21st September 2012, after the Efut Combined Assembly had elected him as the Muri Munene elect of the Efut, Muri Effiong Mbukpa, had excluded himself from the position of the King of Efuts.
“By the Traditional Rulers Law of Cross River State, a person can only lay claim to being a chief, paramount ruler or king after being given a staff of office by the state and if somebody fails to comply with the directives of the State, the selection of such a person cannot be upheld”. Justice Abua stated in the ruling.
According to Justice Abua, the state has a duty to intervene in the dispute in Efut land by calling for another selection process which Efiong Mbukpa failed to attend and therefore his request to have the selection process quashed cannot be granted.
“The first selection conducted was not the selection proper so government had to give a directive for another selection which had to be obeyed so the soteraria which the Applicant asked for cannot be granted” Justice Abua said.
The Justice in his two hours ruling said that the directive of government for the selection of a new Muri Munene was in order and that directive was not a decision but a directive for the right thing to be done and cannot be quashed by the Court. “What government did was issuing of notice for the selection of a Muri Munene and that is not a decision but a directive which can be quashed by a soteraria”.
Mr. Nkanta Nkanta, counsel to Muri Effiong Mbukpa said he has to study the judgment first to know the next step to take since it was a very long ruling .
“It was a fairly long judgment and we have to study it to know the next line of action to take; this is just the first step and we have the Appellate and Supreme Courts; it is after we have studied the judgment that we can say if the judge erred on point of Law”.
Mrs. N. O Amah, counsel to the Cross River State Government said the state government has a duty to conduct a selection process for a traditional stool that is in contention and “This does not in any way have anything to do with the Applicant who is challenging the government’s decision to call for another selection process since the first was not a selection proper which a soteraria he is seeking for can be used to quash”.
Muri Effiong Mbukpa, the Muri Munene Elect for the Efut kingdom had in September 2012 sought a soteraria in High Court 8 Calabar seeking to quash the decision of government to conduct another selection process after he had been selected by the Efut Combined Assembly, the body of kingmakers of the Efut Kingdom and had completed all the traditional rites necessary to ascend the throne.
The governor of the state, Senator Liyel Imoke also visited him in his palace during his political campaigns and addressed him as the Muri Munene before he was violently sacked from the palace by hired thugs. The palace has since then remained under lock and key.
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