Cross River: Efut Kingdom Dispute Deepens over Throne Succession

A dispute over the traditional throne of the Munene of the Efuts in Cross River state has intensified following Governor Bassey Otu’s endorsement of Professor Itam Hogan Itam as the rightful heir. This decision has sparked controversy within the Efut kingdom, with the Efut Combined Assembly, the apex decision-making body, rejecting the governor’s choice.

The succession battle, which has been ongoing since the passing of the last Munene in 2009, has seen numerous legal battles and physical altercations among contenders.

Despite previous recognition by the Ben Ayade administration, Professor Itam was later deposed, leading to legal proceedings for his reinstatement. Governor Otu’s recent directive to reinstate Professor Itam is based on a court ruling, prompting backlash from the Efut Combined Assembly, which holds sway over the Efut people. The Assembly contends that the government’s decision disregards ongoing legal proceedings, citing an appeal and stay of execution filed in the Court of Appeal.

In response to the governor’s press statement, the Efut Combined Assembly has called for the reversal of the decision, stressing the importance of upholding justice. Meanwhile, tensions escalate as another individual receives recognition as the village/clan head of Efut Ukem, Odukpani L.G.A., further complicating the already contentious situation surrounding the Efut traditional throne.

IMAGE: Track News

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