Traditional rulers challenge selection of Obong of Calabar by Etuboms conclave

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A group called the ‘The Legitimate Etuboms of the Palace of the Obong of Calabar’ has kicked against the selection process that produced Etubom Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu as the Obong of Calabar.

Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu was reportedly dethroned by the decisions of the Supreme Court in Appeal No.: SC.633/2013 – Etubom Anthony A. Ani & Ors v. Etubom Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu & Ors and Appeal No.: SC.634/2013 – Etubom Anthony A. Ani & Ors v. Etubom Essien Ekpeyong Efiok & Ors.

In its judgement, the Supreme Court ordered that another process be conducted for another Obong of Calabar to emerge, although HRM Otu could present himself for the process.

In compliance with the Supreme Court judgement which ordered that the process be completed on 18 January 2023, the Etuboms’ Conclave climaxed the processes and formally proclaimed Abasi Otu as the Obong of Calabar in the palace.

In a statement jointly signed by three of the Legitimate Etuboms on behalf of the Etuboms Traditional Rulers Council. the Etuboms stated that “all those who took part in the selection process were not qualified ab initio to take part in the process.”

According to the statement “HRH Etubom Essien Ekpenyong Efiok and HRH Etubom Micah Archibong VI who were the Chairman and Secretary respectively of the Etuboms’ Traditional Rulers Council as well as Respondents in both Appeals, should have conducted the proceedings in line with the 2002 Constitution as ordered by the Supreme Court but that was not the case.”

The statement said they, the Traditional Rulers relied on the Supreme Court decision which threw the fresh selection process open to Western Calabar comprising Ikoneto, Adiabo and Creek Town and the contestants should have been qualified before taking part in the process.”

They stated that those who took part in the process and proclamation are not qualified as eleven of them are those capped by the dethroned Obong of Calabar.

The traditional rulers have now called on the State Governor to intervene in the matter to forestall a breakdown of Law and Order and ensure the unbiased implementation of the Decisions of the Supreme Court.

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