Olu of Warri: Suspended Ologbotsere asks court to halt coronation of Prince Emiko
As the Itsekiri of Warri Kingdom in Delta State intensify plans for the coronation of the Olu-designate of Warri Kingdom, Prince Tsola Emiko, the suspended Ologbotsere of the kingdom, Chief Ayirimi Emami, has approached a Warri High Court, seeking legal interpretation of the amended 1979 Olu of Warri Chieftaincy Edict.
Emami sought the court’s order of interlocutory injunction to restrain the defendants either by themselves, agents, privies and/or whomsoever from crowning any person as the Olu of Warri Kingdom, pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
A writ of summons with suit number W/128/2021, dated July 8, 2021, has Chief Emami as the claimant, while Chief Akoma Dudu Dimeyin (Olori-Ebi of Ginuwas Ruling House), Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh (Olori-Ebi of Ginuwa l Ruling House) and Chief Johnson Amatserunleghe (Iyatsere of Warri) are the defendants.
The Ologbotsere wants “an order restraining the defendants either by themselves, agents, privies and (or) by whomsoever from using anybody, particularly the third defendant (Iyatsere) or the Uwangue or any other traditional chief of Warri Kingdom to crown any person as the Olu of Warri Kingdom against the provision of the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict of 1979, pending the hearing and determination of this suit”.
He is also seeking the court to upturn the purported suspension of Ologbotsere as the Chairman, Olu Advisory Council and Traditional Council of Chiefs by the Ginuwa I Ruling House.
Specifically, Chief Emami wants the court to explain the role of the Ologbotsere in the traditional administration of Warri Kingdom, arguing that his position is next to the Olu of Warri.
He told journalists on Saturday that he had voluntarily kept mum on the controversies trailing the passage of the immediate past Olu of Warri, His Majesty Ogiame Ikenwoli; and the subsequent pronouncement of Prince Tsola Emiko as the Olu-designate, explaining that his “decision to go to court is to ensure that Iwere customs and traditions are preserved.”
He argued that his position, as Ologbotsere, is next to the Olu of Warri, hence he had approached the court for interpretation of the controversial 1979 edict as well as to ensure his “rightful place” in the traditional administration of the kingdom.
“If there is no Olu, I am next. I am the next to speak. Some persons want to rewrite history. I want to go to court to ask if Iyatsere can be next. I also want to ask if the princes can sack a chief,” he said.
It will be recalled that amid the controversial suspension of the Ologbotsere, the Iyatsere of Warri Kingdom, Chief Johnson Amatserunleghe, has been functioning as the Chairman, Olu Advisory Council and the Traditional Council of Chiefs of the Ginuwa I Ruling House, which had in April unveiled Prince Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko, son of Ogiame Atuwaste II and 19th Olu of Warri, as Omoba, the Olu-designate.
Emami added, “I have moved to court for the court to interpret the edict to ensure that Iwere customs and traditions are preserved.”
Emphasising that issues surrounding the Olu stool was a unifying factor for the Itsekiri, he said, “There has been a lot of turbulence in Itsekiri land. So, today, I decided that all sons and daughters of Itsekiriland should come for adequate prayers for our people. I equally use this medium to alert them that I have taken some steps for the wrongdoing and undoing of the Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom. It is very straight, after the Olu, it is the Ologbotsere. But I have not been talking.
“I have moved to the court to interpret the edict.
“A lot of people are ignorant. Our kingdom has been in existence before 1979 and if they say it (edict) came into being in 1979, it was only amended in 1979. So, when they get to court, we will know whether it came into being or it is a piece of paper, the way some of them claim. We will do the needful. And within a short time, we will announce what I am going to do by the power vested in me by the edict.”