Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State said yesterday that the dethronement of two traditional rulers in the state, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya of Obinugu and Eze Cosmas Onyeneke, was based on the recommendation of the House of Assembly.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, Okorocha said the action was not a personal matter but a discharge of his constitutional obligations under the Traditional Rulers, Autonomous Communities and Allied Matters in Imo State Law No. 6 of 2006.
He said: “Following series of petitions to the House of Assembly against the traditional rulers by the indigenes, the Assembly constituted a-five man committee, which investigated the petitions and indicted the monarchs.
“As a responsible government, we appreciate that the two people involved are indigenes of the state. So we won’t go the whole hog to discuss the findings of the committee. But at the end of the investigations, the committee passed resolutions 376 and 377 that the governor should without delay, remove the duo.
“But the government kept the resolutions of the Assembly in abeyance and did not dethrone the monarchs as recommended. Before then, Ilomuanya stopped attending state functions in breach of Section 14 of the Imo State Traditional Rulers, Autonomous Communities Law and since three years ago relocated to Abuja where he functioned more as a politician.
“It is also important to state that by the virtue of the removal of Ilomuanya as the traditional ruler and state Council of Traditional Rulers member, he can no longer parade himself as such because to do so is tantamount to impersonation”.
However, the traditional rulers have defied the governor’s order, insisting they will not vacate their stools.
A statement by Eze Ilomuanya, who is also the chairman of South East Council of Traditional Rulers, said the announcement by the state government purporting to have withdrawn his certificate of recognition was ridiculous and laughable.