48 Anambra traditional rulers face possible dethronement over alleged violations in their elections, others

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Forty-eight traditional rulers in Anambra could be dethroned if a suit filed against the continued recognition is successful. An Anambra State High Court has adjourned the matter for hearing. The suit is seeking the stoppage and recovery of salaries, as well as other entitlements paid to the traditional rulers whose elections allegedly breach the extant laws of the state.

One Chinedu Tagbo had filed a suit marked No. A/149/2022, on behalf of himself and the people of Anambra state, seeking the dethronement of the traditional rulers. He alleged that the elections and processes by which the state government issued the certificates of recognition to them violate the laws of the state. The affected traditional rulers were issued certificates of recognition between 20I4 and 2022.

Sued as defendants in the case are the Anambra state governor (1st defendant), the Attorney General of the state (2nd defendant) and the 48 monarchs (3-5th defendants). The plaintiff in the suit is praying for an order of the court to stop and recover salaries and other benefits accruable to the monarchs, pending the determination of the substantive suit. In the originating summons, dated April 26, 2022, the plaintiff prayed the court to de-recognise the 48 monarchs and recover whatever benefits that had accrued to them in addition to awarding him N100 million as exemplary damages.

The plaintiff sought for interpretation of a provision of the extant laws and to determine the issue of whether the executive arm of government can issue 3rd to 5th respondents Certificates of Recognition from 2014 to 2020 without obtaining approval of the State House of Assembly as provided in section 4(j) of the law. He also prayed the court to determine if the recognition can stand in the light of the governor’s alleged failure to publish the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Certificated Gazette No. 1, Vol. 31 (2015 to December 31, 2022) dated January 28, 2022, listing the 48 monarchs before it can issue them certificates of recognition as traditional rulers as provided in section 8 and 9 (i) of the law.

When the matter came up, the presiding Judge, Justice Alexius Okuma, after listening to the plaintiff’s argument adjourned the matter for hearing in the interlocutory injunction to a date to be communicated to the parties.

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