The people of Assa autonomous community in the Ohaji/Egbema council area of Imo State have dragged His Royal Highness, Eze Emmanuel Assor to the Department of Security Services (DSS), and State Police Command over the alleged stealing of traditional stool and embezzlement of funds.
He was also accused of high handedness, arbitrariness and imposition over community representative opportunities, job slots and local sub-contracts as part of the issues of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) between the operating oil companies and host community.
Briefing newsmen in Owerri, former President-General, David Egbula said the traditional ruler fraudulently usurped the sacred stool in 2017 with disregard to the customs, culture and traditions of the community.
Egbula who led many disaffected villagers to interview the Imo police authority explained that it was against the culture of the people for the traditional ruler to emerge from a cast of lots under the administration of former Imo State Governor, Rochas Anayo Okorocha, representing Imo west senatorial district.
In his words, ” The monarch only indicated an interest in the race. Other contestants are Chiefs Precious Utiti Akayaya and Julius Ekerue. While the embattled monarch hail from Obosa village, Akayaya and Ekerue hail from Umuobi village. But the autonomous is a confederation of five villages like Obosa, Awoma, Umuobi, Idegele and Umugama.
“In the cast of lots, it was one Obinna Assor, the monarch’s deceased younger brother who participated with other contestants and, picked the YES paper, not the monarch.
“In another twist, the monarch behind the scene compromised the deceased winner who surreptitiously abdicated his luck (throne) to his elder brother, Emmanuel Assor.
“Uneasy calm now reigns in Imo State autonomous communities, whose traditional rulers were likewise handpicked by the former governor through the casting of ballots.
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Discrete findings also disclosed that other traditional rulers who emerged by the cast of lots have been removed from their thrones in other Imo communities.
Also, Festus Ejimadu, a notable community stakeholder who corroborated what Egbula said added that the Imo high court judgment was judicially premised on the cast of lots sacked the traditional ruler of Obiangwu autonomous community in Ngor Okpala local government area of the state.
But justice Iheka in his ruling said, “I declare as null and void, the action of the governor, by casting ballots as a means of identifying and recognizing the traditional ruler of Obiangwu autonomous community, which is contrary to the customs, culture and traditions of Obiangwu autonomous community, the constitution of the community and the Traditional Rulers and Autonomous Community Law number six of 2006, as amended.”
LEAKBLAST learnt that the Court not only issued an order, setting aside the purported identification or selection and recognition of Samuel Ordu as the traditional ruler of Obiangwu autonomous community by the governor but also gave an order of perpetual injunction, restraining Samuel Ordu from howsoever conducting or parading himself as the traditional ruler of the community.
When grilled, one of the palace chiefs who pleaded anonymity said it was for the monarch to personally respond to the weighty allegations of embezzlement levelled against him since he keeps them in the dark over the community’s economic opportunities, particularly the activities of the multinational companies.
But the traditional ruler in his reaction, dismissed the claims are false. He added, “when we get to the bridge, we shall know how to cross it”. And thereafter, hurriedly sped off in his car.
Yet, the police authority said the matter would be charged to court upon completion of an investigation.