By Ogar Monday
The palace of the Obong of Calabar has debunked the news making rounds that His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, was dethroned by the Supreme court.
The place made this known in a press statement made available to CrossRiverWatch and signed by HRH Etubom Bassey Duke, Chairman of Etuboms’ Traditional Council.
The palace said that the case instituted by Chief Anthony Ani was thrown out for lack of merit and that the court also affirmed the judgment of the appeal court.
The statement reads, “The attention of The Etuboms’ Traditional Council, which is the supreme traditional, administrative and socio-political authority in the Efik Kingdom has been drawn to numerous sensational headlines in some newspapers and the social media following the 13th January, 2023 judgment of the Supreme Court on the appeal cases brought to it by Chief Anthony Ani.
“To the delight of the Etuboms’ Traditional Council and all well-meaning Efik Sons and Daughters, the Supreme Court dismissed the various appeals for lack of merit and found that Chief Anthony Ani was never traditionally qualified or eligible to even vote or be voted for in the contest for the position of the revered throne of the Obong of Calabar.
“The Supreme Court went further to affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeal including the order to carry out a reselection process, which had been tainted by the wrong inclusion of Chief Anthony Ani. This was diligently carried out, observing all due processes in line with our ancient traditions and the court orders by the Etuboms Conclave on July 8th, 2013 and the Efik Kingdom has been peaceful ever since then.
“Our revered monarch, His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, is hale and hearty and the Efik throne is intact and unshaken.
“Money and wealth, no matter how ill-gotten or otherwise, can never undermine the sanctity of the throne of Efik Kingdom. It is not surprising, therefore, that some persons and organizations may have been induced to publish screaming and false headlines rather than report what the Court actually said.” He said.
The statement enjoined the media to do due diligence before running to the press, while stating that “the Etuboms’ Traditional Council continues its normal meetings and as law-abiding citizens, will take necessary action and make further pronouncements on this matter in due course.”