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Friday, July 12, 2024

You are not recognized as a king, Court tells Hope Dan Opusingi.

You are not recognized as a king, Court tells Hope Dan Opusingi.

Justice Okogbule Gbasam of the Port Harcourt High Court has dethroned Hope Dan Opusingi as a 3rd class government recognized traditional ruler of Opu-kula/Singi-ama in Kula kingdom of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivera State.

It could be recalled that the traditional leadership, and some concerned indigenes, of Kula kingdom had gone to court in 2019 to challenge the recognition of Hope Dan Opusingi as the king of Opu-kula/Singi-ama by the immediate past Governor of Rivers State.

In his judgement, on Monday, Justice Gbasam set aside the recognition of Hope Dan Opusingi by the Rivers State government, citing that there was no existence of such stool in the Kula kingdom in the first place to justify a request for recognition. The court held that his recognition was against the judgement of the court of Appeal of 2015, which classified Opu-kula as part of Kula territory and not an autonomous community.

The court also held that Singi-ama is a non-existent area in the Kula kingdom and thus validated the cancellation of the designation of Opu-kula as an autonomous community by the Akuku-Toru Local Government. The court conclusively issued a perpetual injunction restricting Hope Dan Opusingi from parading himself as a king.

In his reaction, the lawyer of Kula Community, Emmanuel John, expressed hope that the River State government will abide by the judgment of the court by withdrawing the recognition of Hope Opusingi as a traditional ruler. According to him, “the legal effect is that credit has been given to the existing Stool of the Amayanabo of Kula, he is the only recognized Stool in Kula Community. What Daminabo was trying to do was to create two stools in the same community. So the effect of it is that the community has been sanitized and the appropriate authority that is in charge of administration of the territory called Kula is in the hands of the Amayanabo of Kula.

The court having declared that the recognition was not proper and was not in accordance with the law, the government, being a law-abiding government, should give effect to the order of the court”.

In his own reaction, the paramount ruler of Kula Kingdom, Dr. Kroma Amabibi Eleki, expressed joy and applauded the court for upholding the truth and stopping attempts by an individual to balkanize the Kula Kingdom under his reign. He equally beckoned on the government of Rivers State to ensure that the name of Hope Dan Opusingi is erased from the register of recognized traditional rulers.

In his words, “it would have been a very sad incident during my tenure for my domain to be balkanized. But with this judgment, truth has been established, justice has been served. The kingdom is not balkanized. Opu-Kula is owned by Kula, and it is my responsibility, if at all there are people living there, to appoint somebody to head that place.

“So, I am very much happy and I thank God. Since the court has said that the recognition is null and void, the government should do the needful to erase his name from the gazette and the register of the recognized Chiefs”, he added.

Credit; Dailyblast


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