The blast and the firing of twenty (20) shoot from Cannon , accompanied with the breaking of three earthen pots in the ancient palace of A iwerre ( please it is not warri) symbolically represented the demise and the metaphysical teleportation of Olu Ikenwoli Godfrey Emiko to the land of his ancestors.
On the principle that nature abhors no vacuum, led to the announcement of Prince Tsola Emiko as the Olu designated. However, this announcement is met with a swift rejection, objections, contrary views, controversies and dissecting view as to the legal and customary competence of Prince Tsola Emiko to occupy the revered, ignifying , commanding , sacred, exalted, invidious and exotic stool in the physical conurbating and the Oil rich city of A’ Iwerre ( please it is not warri).
Monarchical succession tussle is not uncommon in the history of Mankind , even in the bible there are examples of monarchical succession tussle . Nollywood movies have copiously depicted monarchical tussle, who will ever forget the succession tussle regarding the Stool of Deji of Akure. So, one should not be taken by surprise, to see the kingship tussle engulfed the throne of Olu of Warri.
The Argument Canvassed by the dissecting group led by the Ologbotsere (the traditional Prime Minister or the King maker) High Chief Ayiri Emami, is anchored on paragraph 4 of the Declaration made under section 8 of Traditional Ruler and Chiefs Edict of Bendel state 1979 promulgated by Brigadier- General Abubakar waziri.
As a lawyer, I have ingrained my mind to objectively and dispassionately evaluate fact and matter of law without emotion and Sentiment . It is in view of my belief I have decided to microscopically view and litmus test the issues bordering on the throne of warri with brimstone and grindstone of legal principles.
Let me laconically state the history of Warri kingdom , Sometimes in 1473 , the binis(Benin) who were said to have directly come from Heaven ( whether you believe it or not , I verily believed in the Story) was ruled by a benevolence and magnanimous kind named Oba Olua , who had a son called Prince Ginuwa , who sworn to revenge on the people, who took his father kindheartedness as his Achilles heel. Upon the unravelment of Prince Ginuwa’s vindictive move , the Binis Chiefs started a campaign of calumny against prince Ginuwa , this eventually led his father, Oba Olua to seek heaven of Refuge for him (ginuwa) alongside Seventy sons of Benin Chiefs to establish a Dukedom in the riverine territory of the Benin Empire.
Monarchical succession system in Warri is Hereditary in nature, laced with some Amorphous Primogeniture elements unlike the Esan, or Uromi or Benin whose monarchical succession system is purely agnatic Primogeniture (i.e exclusively preserved for the firstson) since 1480 to date 18(eighteen) Olus have succeeded their father, only 2 (two) brothers have succeeded their elder brothers, ( Olu Irame succeed his elder brother Olu Ijijen Ogbowuru in 1538 and Olu Ikenwoli Godfrey Emiko, succeeded his elder brother Olu Atuwatse Emiko II in 2015)
THE LEGAL REASONS WHY PRINCE TSOLA EMIKO IS NOT QUALIFIED
My legal argument is Simply anchored on the sacred paragraphs of the Declaration, made under section 8 of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict of Bendel state(Edo and Delta) 1979.
The odyssey to become the Olu of Warri is centered around three un-leapable stages which are ; Selection Stage , Nomination Stage and Appointment stage.
Our bean of search light point to the Selection and purported Nomination stage of Prince Tsola Eminiko
In a Concise manner, the Declaration made under section 8 of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict of Bendel state 1979, says that, a party wanting to be appointed as the Olu of Warri must have first being a member of the genealogical tree of Ginuwa( which is the ruling house)but limited to the last three Olu descendants , NOW HEAR this paragraph 4 of the Declaration of the EDICT, which state that , TO QUALIFY , A CANDIDATE’S MOTHER MUST BE AN ITSEKIRI OR OF EDO ORIGIN AND HIS FATHER MUST BE ITSERKIRI.
From the following , the extant and subsisting legal instrument, clothed with the force of law , specifically mention that, to the via for the stool of Olu of Warri, the candidate must be birthed by an Itsekeri or Edo mother , the Olu- designate in question is birthed by a woman across the far Boarder of mid- western state ( Edo and Delta) he is birthed by a woman from the Western part of Nigeria and as such do not met the Sacrosanct and the indispensable qualification requirement under paragraph 4 of the Declaration under the EDICT .the paragraph is fundamental for enthronement to the throne of Olu.
Another wedge, gap and legal flaws in the process leading to emergence of Prince Tsola Emiko, is the strict adherence to paragraph 3 of the Declaration made under section 8 of Traditional Ruler and Chiefs Edict of Bendel state 1979, which expressly state that, the OLOGBOTSERE will by Summon and midwife the whole process , the Paragraph does NOT say an Acting Ologbotsere should summon and midwife the whole process.
Looking dispassionately at the two legal issues raised , one is left with no option, than to move supersonically to adopt the LITERALLY INTERPRETATION OF STATUTES, which states that, once words used in a Statues are in themselves clear, precise and unambiguous the Court need not to go into Voyage of Discovery the intention of the Framers of the law ( OLALOMI INDUSTRIES LTD. v. NIDB LTD, (2009) LPELR-2564(SC))
Having legally and binocularly evaluate the circumstances leading to emergency of Prince Tsoha Emiko , one will discovered that the sum up process leading emergency Prince Tsoha Emiko is inherently legally faulty and as such, a kingship selection or Nomination or Appointment that is not in conformity with the lay down laws or Customary law will be Render Void and Nullity ( OKUSANYA & ORS v. ADETONA & ORS (2018) LPELR-44876(CA) )
On the legal Maxim of lex fortori , I deemed it of legal importance to reproduced the Obiter in the case of Adefulu v Oyesile (1989) 5 NWLR ( pt 122) 337 at page 28 421
“ As a valid nomination by the ruling house is a sine qua non for either valid submission for selection by the kingmakers or its approval by the Governor, it follows that any purported selection by the kingmakers or its approval by the governor, of a person not nominated by the ruling house is an exercise in futility.’’
On a more Expository note , the stages to become the Olu of Warri , are not Leapable , the process are Cumulative not disjunctive, the processes are sequential and Contiguous to each other , a person who had failed to qualify under Paragraph 4 of the Edict CANNOT be qualify to be chosen by the Oracle under paragraph 6 of the Edict
LEGAL REASONS WHY THE CUSTOMARY DECLARATION MADE UNDER THE EDICT IS NOT REPUGNANT TO NATURAL JUSTICE
I have read the Article written by Chief Barr Robinson Ariyo ,a sagacious and a witty legal practitioner based in Warri , whose major argument is rooted on the validity test of his said customary Declaration made under the Edict , I found it Difficult to agree with the sagacious and brilliant lawyer, infact he actually missed the legal issue just like the way yakubu Aiyegbeni infamously missed that Golden opportunity at the World Cup .
The question of validity of the Customary law is out of scene ,otiose and inconsequential in respect to this matter, for the avoidance of doubt the said paragraph 4 of the Declaration under the Edict is not even a Customary law but a legal instrument, having the kinetic force of law, which can only be altered and amended through legislative process.
Most Importantly, the Customary Declaration under the EDICT is NOT imposed on the people of Itsekiri but from the yearnings, want and desire of the people of Warri , which was later crystallize to have legal efficacy and judicial Imprimatur , the Court have held in the Case of OKUSANYA & ORS v. ADETONA & ORS (2018) LPELR-44876(CA) ) that, they don’t have business in promulgating new law in Chieftaincy matter but to interprets the already existing law.
Furthermore, the said Customary Declaration under the Edict is even clothed with Constitutional Status as was held in case of Eyinade ojo v Gov of Oyo state(1989) NWLR (PT) 95 1 at 22 where Agbaje JSC (the judge in the Case) put it as
“The chieftaincy declaration is no doubt an instrument which has a constitutional status in that it was made under a law which was duly passed in the manner provided for by the Constitution.”
Even the Nigeria Constitution is discriminatory against a non – Nigeria to be the President, every place and Villages have their own qualification to the Kingship throne , the Qualification to be Olu of Warri is similar to the One Obtainable in my cozy and conurbating city UROMI Edo state ( the place that produce the person that moved the Motion for Nigeria Independence ) the King( Onogie) , is only permitted to marry a woman from the village called AWO , the woman will inturn give birth to next King. the Pontificators of Paragraph 4 , understood the historical fraternity and affiliation with the Binis , because a river that forget it’s source dry off
LEGAL OPTION AVAILABLE TO AGGRIEVED PARTY
(a)They should first adopt the Non- Adversarial Style of settling dispute
(b) On the failure of the parties to reach an ___Amicable settlement , they must timeously Protest to the office of the Governor of Delta State
( c)They MAY approach a Court of law for redress and must first seek an Injunction STOPPING the installation of the Olu, but they must show congent and compelling reasons why the Injunction will be granted , because a throne is not a perishable goods
MY SENTIMENTAL AND EMOTIONAL OPINION WHY AGGRIEVED PARTIES SHOULD NEVER AND NOT GO TO COURT
Just like the adage says “ the Private part of an elderly man is not a playing thing for a crying child” another adage says , “the Reggae dance steps of the gods are not for mere mortal” , I am a person who belief in culture and age long values , how embarrassing , disgraceful and Sacrilegious will it be, to subject the prestigious Royal Crown of over 620 ( six hundred and twenty years ) to “ Objection my lord “ (litigation), Court proceedings and words like pleadings , fact , inadmissibility, Cross – examination, injunction, preliminary objection etc , may sound Cacophonous, to seriously offends the gods and the Ancestors , Courts proceedings may act as Kryptonite elements to the efficacy and splendor of Royal Crown .
Also the Disqualified person in 2015 is the Son of predecessor of this late Olu, let give him a Chance and not punish him for the fundamental error caused by his father
The aggrieved parties should sheath their sword 🗡️ and think of the general peace Itsekeri in itsekiri land and move on with life
Furthermore the Olu -Designate has begin to retraced his ancestral root by his Marriage to a Benin Billionaire Daughter.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ehidiamen Destiny Esq
Uromi – Abuja Based Lawyer
I am just a Sesquipedalian and a linguistic aficionado