A Kogi High Court sitting in Anyigba has granted an interim injunction restraining the newly appointed Ejeh of Ofu, Ofu Local Government Area, Kogi, Chief James Abalaka, from parading himself as occupant of the seat.
Justice Rukayat Ayoola who granted the injunction in an Enrollment Order issued on Friday in Anyigba, said the restriction pended the outcome of the substantive suit No: AYHC/108 /2018 filed by the Ogohi Ejule, Alhaji Akwu Obaje.
The suit has as defendants/respondents James Abalaka; HRM Michael Ameh Oboni, the Attah Igala and chairman, Igala Area Traditional Council; Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Kogi State Government.
Ayoola, ruling on the Motion Exparte filed on July 19, granted an injunction restraining the second to fourth defendants/respondents from appointing/recognising the 1st defendant as the Ejeh of Ofu, pending the determination of the Motion on Notice.
The judge also granted an interim injunction restraining the first defendant/respondent from
parading himself as the Ejeh of Ofu, pending the determination of the Motion on Notice.
“It is hereby further ordered that the interim injunction herein granted will be in force until the determination of the Motion on Notice,” Ayoola ruled.
In his 21-point Statement of Claim, Obaje stated that the Eje stool was enjoyed by four ruling houses of the Attah Igala ruling dynasty including Akogwu, Ameh-Achor, Itodo- Aduga and Aju-Ocholi houses in order of seniority.
He said after the demise of the former Ejeh, Chief Peter Opaluwa, it was now the turn of Itodo-Aduga house which he, Akwu, represented as the right heir.
He said the 1st defendant, based on the recommendation of the state government through the Ministry in a letter No. MLGCA/CHI/5/44/1/225 of April 10, 2017 constituted a screening panel to select the right candidate for the position.
He said the members of the panel were taken aback by the news of his appointment as the new substantive Ejeh Ofu.
They held that the appointment was in total disregard of the provisions of Sections 3 and 4 of Kogi State Chieftaincy Law No. 23 of 2006, adding, “We cannot pretend to be unaware in the face of obvious disrespect and abuse like this.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Chief Abalaka, who had been the Onu of Ugwolawo District, was among the traditional rulers appointed recently by Kogi governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
Others appointed along with Abalaka included the Ejeh Olamaboro, Chief Simeon Ujah; Ohi of Adavi, Chief Ireyi Bello a first class status and the Adogu of Eganyi, Chief Muhammed Adambe a second class status.