Former Chief Judge of Anambra State who is currently a visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, Professor Peter Nnanna C. Umeadi has explained how his community, Nri, in Anaocha Local Government Area confirmed Prince Ikenna Onyeso, son of the former Ezenri, Obidiegwu Onyeso as the Regent of the Kingdom.
Prof. Umeadi, stated this in a press release, he also debunked the rumour that the Resolutions of the Peace/Reconciliation meeting between Nzemabuo/Orunzenino (Traditional Council) held on Sunday 6th January 2019 was tampered with.
A press statement signed by his by his Personal Assistant, Mr. Vincent Oraeki reads: “ The people of Nri were solidly behind the Regent. His Lordship took no part whatsoever in the process that occurred immediately Eze Nri went to be with his ancestors and whatever went on in the Palace during that time. He was not directly involved, neither did he in any way get involved with what the son of the former Eze Nri was doing personally, in so far as the traditional authority in the Kingdom was concerned. But overtime, the contentions between the Palace and the other relevant groups became acrimonious and loud. Despite words of caution, things were not getting better as many of them have dug into their trenches and felt so aggrieved.
“Grievances came from different angles. Some of which was the instance when members of the traditional council began to assert that they have the right to screen those whom the Eze Nri wanted to invest with traditional titles. However, Eze Nri responded that they demanded from him 30% of all the monies Eze Nri received as royalties from those conferred with chieftaincy titles. The Eze Nri resisted that move, and after several failed mediations and warning to the council members to desist from their demands, the Eze Nri dissolved the council and constituted another one
“That action brought up other consequential issues, both legal and traditional. The leadership at the Palace and the sacked group led by Chief Michael Igidigi had many court cases against each other. It was at this juncture that a group led by Chief Eric Okafor appealed to Justice Umeadi to chair a mediation meeting between the Palace and other contending groups. While Chief Cally Nweke was named the Co-Chairman of the peace effort, Chief Patrick Okonkwo, a retired Director in the State Civil Service, functioned as the Secretary and kept the minutes of the meeting
According to him, eight Resolutions that was reached and signed by the mediators were that Nzemabuo (Traditional Council) as properly constituted by Eze Nri should go back to the Palace, the door to the Palace should remain open to usher in the Nzemabuo, and Nzemabuo should arrange to confirm the appointment of Regent.
Others were that the Palace should be clean to accommodate Nzemabuo/Ndinze General if it has not been done so, Nzemabuo and Regent should work together for the smooth running of the Palace, the powers that belong to the Palace e.g. security, land, etc should be properly guided, the Palace should create room for a new Palace Secretary, even as Oba Lawrence Nwagwu and Ewenata-Ozo P.C. Okonkwo were constituted into a committee to document all of the above for implementation such that by the time of Iguaro of 2019 the Nzemabuo would unveil the properly instituted regent to the public.
At the meeting, Oba Maduka Arubalueze who spoke on behalf of Umuezekanmmadu ruling kindred where king Onyeso hailed from, advised Onyeso family to have good relationship with the Traditional Council, because we all are expecting peace to reign, as no vacuum should be allowed. He prayed that this years Igu Aro 2019 will be celebrated together at Eze Nri Palace. Regrettably, it is this same man who allowed himself to be used by unrepentant group and is now purporting to have been installed as a Regent, named in vernacular as Akwudolueze which means the same Regent.
“So, at the time His Lordship invited the Regent Prince Ikenna Onyeso alongside other Traditional Rulers to a public event, the Igidigi group had repudiated the Peace process. The invitation of Prince Ikenna Onyeso as Regent of Nri to a public function is correct as there is no Court injunction anyway so restraining him in that capacity. Prince Ikenna Onyeso is the only Regent of Nri recognized by Nri people until the contrary is shown,” the statement added.
It concluded that the repudiation of the peace agreements by their group shows the embarrassment they face as their actions are totally contrary to the Resolutions which they joined to reach.
The statement by Mr. Vincent Oraeki also disputed the claims that Justice Umeadi is supporting Prince Ikenna Onyeso as Regent so he would in turn support Justice Umeadi, to become the Eze Nri, saying “the position of the Eze Nri rotates between known families in Nri. The immediate past Chief Judge is a scion of a family one of which is expecting a mention, if providence permits, when the selection for the Eze Nri begins. His Uncle Akunnnia Obudegwu Umeadi was the head of both the Orunzenaino and Nzemabuo under the reign of Eze Nri Nrijiofor II Tabansi Udene. That is double of the group which Chief Michael Igidigi is laying claim to, even when a court of competent jurisdiction has decided that he has no right to such a position.” Umeadi stated