…Princes Ask Court To Nullify Prince Tsola’s Emergence As Omoba
The succession crisis rocking Warri Kingdom over the emergence of Prince Tsola Emiko as Olu-designate assumed a new twist on Thursday as unruly crowd invaded the Warri High Court venue of a suit challenging his emergence.
The protesters are believed to be supporters of Prince Tsola Emiko.
They stormed the court and chased out judicial workers, litigants, and lawyers, including a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who is representing one of the parties, and disrupted the day’s proceedings.
It would be recalled that the emergence of the Omoba, son of Ogiame Atuwatse II (19th Olu of Warri), had polarized the Itsekiri, despite his general acceptance.
The son of the late Olu Ikenwoli, Prince Oyowoli Emiko, and his uncle, Prince Bernard Emiko, approached the court to challenge the processes that led that to his choice as the 21st Olu of the ancient stool.
It would be recalled that Prince Tsola was snubbed in the race to succeed his father in 2015, on account of his maternal parentage, which is also a sticking point in the present dispensation.
However, it was learnt that pandemonium broke out on Thursday when women and youths, who were armed with green leaves and singing war songs, invaded the hallow premises of the court where the case was instituted.
“The issue for debate was the method of services to the defendants, but this could not go on because the youths took over the place and stopped legal proceedings,” a source at the scene said.
It was gathered that Prince Bernard Emiko, Olu Ikenwoli’s younger brother, in an affidavit supporting the suit, said that he is the Olori-Ebi (head) of Ogiame Erejuwa II (18th Olu) Ruling House.
He prayed the court to nullify the nomination and adoption of Prince Tsola Emiko as Olu-designate.
The appellant urged the court to declare the processes that threw up the Omoba as null and void, and prayed the court to stop him from performing the Ideniken and other rites that are mandatory towards his assumption of the stool of Olu of Warri.
The affidavit pleaded “an order of perpetual injunction restraining Pa Akoma Dudun (the parallel Olare-Ebi (oldest member) of the Ginuwa I Ruling House from presenting Prince Tsola Emiko to Chief Ayiri Emami (Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom).”
The affidavit also seeks to restrain members of the Olu Advisory Council, from accepting the candidacy of Prince Tsola as Omoba.
It also sought the an order setting aside and nullifying the 5th April 2021presentation by Prince Johnson Amatserunleghe, the Iyatsere, of Prince Tsola to the Itsekiri nation as Olu-designate in Ode-Itsekiri, the ancestral home of the Itsekiri people.
Prince Bernard confirmed this and the invasion of the court in a text message response to our reporter’s inquiry on Thursday evening.
Meanwhile, Sir Amorighoye Sunny Mene, secretary of the Itsekiri Leaders of Thought has denounced the protesters’ action as ‘barbaric and uncouth’, stressing, “I don’t support the invasion of court by anybody.”
Mene said the ILOT was disposed towards an amicable settlement of the issues surrounding the stool, and appealed to all parties to conduct themselves in responsible and peaceful manner.
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