Omos Oyibode, Asaba
One of the villages in Asaba, Oshimili South local government area, Delta State, the Ogbeogo/Umuelibujor Village, has instituted a case for the court to determine whether by challenging the action of their traditional ruler, the Asagba, and the Asagba-in-Council in a court of law, they stand automatically ostracized or suspended from the rest of Asaba.
The action of the people was informed by the continuous denial of their rights to participate in activities of the town by traditional organs of Asaba, and they are seeking the court to determine whether the Asagba of Asaba and his traditional council are above the law and whether the action is not in conflict with the Nigeria Constitution.
In a suit No A/51/2016 between Obi Federick Nkadi Mokogwu and others versus HRM Obi (Prof) Chike Edozien and others filed before an Asaba High Court by their counsel, Chike Onyemenam, SAN, the people are praying the court to determine whether it does not amount to a violation of their constitutional rights and that of the Asaba people, as guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution.
They are praying the court to decide whether it is right for “the Asagba to write to them a letter declaring that the entire members of Elibujor Village of Asaba had been ostracized or suspended from further associating or having any further contact or communication with other villages or individual members of Asaba community, on ground that they violated the Asagba-in-Council Law that anybody or village that sues the Asagba of Asaba or Asagba-in-Council to a court of law shall automatically stand ostracized or suspended from the rest of Asaba community”.
The claimants are also asking the court to determine whether the said letter written by the Asagba of Asaba in defiance or disobedience of three subsisting Asaba High Court judgements on their family status, brought to his notice, does not amount to an affront on the authority of the courts.
They also said that such action by the Asagba amounts to total disrespect or disregard for the rule of law, adding that they seek the intervention of the law court to interpret whether laws by traditional rulers or institutions barring fellow citizens of Nigeria from association with one another or barring them from filing court cases are not in conflict with the Nigerian Constitution and therefore null and void