The Imo State government yesterday announced the dethronement of two traditional rulers.
The deposed monarchs are Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, who was the traditional ruler of Obinugwu Autonomous Community in Orlu Local Government Area, and Eze Cosmos Onyeneke, the traditional ruler of Lagwa Autonomous Community in Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area.
According to a statement signed by Professor A.G. Anwukah, Secretary to the government of Imo State, the deposition was done in accordance with Sections 11 and 14 of the Imo State Traditional Rulers Autonomous Communities Law No 6 of 2006.
“His Excellency, the Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha (OON), has approved the withdrawal of certificates of recognized traditional rulers of Obinugwu and Lagwa Autonomous Communities, respectively,” the statement said.
The Imo government directed secretaries of the Community Government Council of the respective autonomous communities to liaise with the government on behalf of the territories, “pending the selection and presentation of an Eze-elect in accordance with the custom and constitution of each of the affected Autonomous Communities.”
Earlier yesterday, Eze Ilomunanya, accompanied by leader of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, Chief Dr. Vitalis Orikeze Ajumbe, a former Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Chief Chuma Nnaji, had inspected office block and facilities within the complex of Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers.
Later at a press conference, he praised the judiciary for upholding the rule of law and justice by re-instating him as the bona fide chairman of the Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers after what he called the illegal and unconstitutional dissolution of the council by Governor Rochas Okorocha on June 6, 2011.
“I did not go to court because I was a hungry man, but to protect the integrity of the traditional institution in the state, because if the unlawful action of the state government had gone unchallenged, it would become a norm. The law that established Imo Council of Traditional Rulers is very clear, as the only way that the chairman of the council could be replaced before his tenure of office lapses, is either by death or voluntary resignation, or if he is indicted for any criminal activity. But I was never indicted for any offence and I was elected for a tenure of five years.” Recall that Eze Ilomunanya had filed a suit against the Imo State government following his removal from office three years ago before he was reinstated by the court last week.