The protracted kingship tussle in Akama-Oghe Community in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State has escalated, with one of the two contestants for the throne, Chief Christian Akpata, rejecting the appeal for Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to issue a certificate of recognition to another contestant, Onyeka Ofodile.
Some people from the community had, in online publications, “appealed to the Enugu State government to issue Certificate of Recognition to Onyeka Ofodile to enable him to begin to perform his functions in accordance with the Enugu State Chieftaincy Law.”
According to them, Ofodile was elected traditional ruler of the community and the result of the election submitted to the Enugu State Ministry of Chieftaincy by the Ezeagu Local Government Area since April 2019.
But, in a chat with reporters, Chief Akpata said he was rather the duly nominated candidate for the royal stool with all the necessary documents.
Akpata, who challenged his opponent to present any document with which he lays claims to the kingship throne of the community before the court, where the matter is currently pending, advised them to stop seeking a short cut that would never help them. He said: “After the death of our traditional ruler, the town union of Akama-Oghe Community wrote to the Chairman of Umuifi Village, where I come from, to select a new traditional ruler for the town.
“I was eventually selected by the village, which wrote the town union and equally presented me as the new Igwe.
“They also signed the letter brought to them to that effect. But suddenly, they refused to present me before the local government after I refused to sign a document that I should henceforth not look into any past dealings over the community land.
“I went to court in November 2018 to order them to present me to the local government and the state Ministry of Chieftaincy. But in April, they proposed to conduct another election which the state Ministry of Chieftaincy Affairs did not participate and said they have elected Ofodile.
“The issue is if there’s any document Ofodile has to lay claims to the kingship throne, let him present it before the court so that the matter will be over instead of seeking a shortcut that will never help him.
“They should stop disturbing the peace of Enugu State and our Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who would not indulge himself in injustice.
“So, all the documents that I am using to lay claim to the kingship throne of Akama-Oghe Community are in the courts and other government offices because I don’t have anything to hide. I know the community elected me as their choice.”
Akpata said the people kicking against him were the oppressors of the poor in the community. He vowed that they would not succeed “because we have a man of justice as governor of Enugu State.”