Edo State Appeal Court affirms Chief Okolie as Ihonor of Ogwashi-Uku

The Court of Appeal in Benin declared Chief Hyacinth Okolie as the rightful Ihonor of Ogwashi-Uku, a traditional title in Delta State, Aniocha South Local Government Area. This decision, marking the conclusion of a longstanding legal battle initiated by two opposing contestants, solidifies Chief Okolie’s position as the third-ranking traditional authority in the kingdom, following the Obi and the Iyase.

Chief Okolie’s victory in the contest for the Ihonor title dates back to 2008, amidst intense competition. However, dissatisfaction from rival contestants, Borniface Anyibuofu and Augustine Nwaeke Okeibunor, led to a series of legal challenges aimed at overturning Chief Okolie’s nomination. Multiple suits were filed in the High Court, culminating in case CA/AS/174/2018, which was ultimately decided last Wednesday by the Court of Appeal.

This ruling echoes a similar legal saga surrounding the Iyase title, the second most influential position in the kingdom. High Chief Mike Nwaukoni’s installation as the Iyase in 2004 faced challenges following the ascension of Professor Aninshi Okonjo as the Obi, leading to protracted legal battles. Ultimately, the Supreme Court affirmed Onowu Mike Nwaukoni as the legitimate Iyase of Ogwashi-Uku.

The resolution of these disputes brings clarity and stability to the traditional leadership structure of Ogwashi-Uku, providing a definitive conclusion to years of legal wrangling and ensuring the continuity of customary governance in the community.

IMAGE: The Guardian

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