Calabar monarch accused of breaking into palace

Calabar monarch accused of breaking into palace

Prof. Itam Hogan Itam has been accused of forcefully breaking into the palace of the Efut Combined Assembly in Anantigha community.

Prof. Itam is alleged to have invaded the palace on June 4, 2024, alongside unnamed boys and reportedly destroyed the assembly’s signpost and forcefully took over the palace.

The assembly described the action as criminal and contempt of court as they do not recognise him as the Muri Munene of the Efuts.

They said he has no authority to access the palace let alone convene a meeting to dissolve the assembly.

In a statement signed by six traditional rulers, including HRH Muri Edet Asuquo Okon, HRH Muri Ekpe Effiong Efiok, HRH Muri Ekpenyong Okon Ekpenyong, HRH Muri Edet Odiongka and the Secretary General of Efut Combined Assembly, HH Ndabu Dr Godwin Bassey.

The Efut Assembly, which is the apex decision making body of the Efut Kingdom berated Prof Itam, saying he was trying to mislead the public with a news item in the state-owned Cross River Broadcasting Corporation CRBC, Calabar, that purportedly gave the impression that certificates of recognition of some certificated clan heads in Efut have been withdrawn.

The body frowned at a meeting Itam held where a resolution was purportedly taken to dissolve all traditional committees in Efut and the certificates of Muris and Ndabos withdrawn.

The statement described it as a mirage as Prof. Itam lacked authority to take what he never gave.

The assembly reminded him of the provisions of Muri Munene Council of 1974 which confers powers on the Efut Combined Assembly as the highest ruling body of the Efuts and C/183/95 which states: “It is the prerogative of Efut Combined Assembly to select a new Muri Munene of Efut.”

They further reminded Itam of the court order in Suit No. HC/102/2020, restraining him and others from interfering with the affairs of Efut Combined Assembly.

They cautioned that Itam should steer clear and not to do anything inconsistent with the rights of the claimant to the throne.

The traditional rulers described the purported suspension of members of Efut Combined Assembly by Prof Itam Hogan Itam as illegal, null and void. They said a court judgement in Suit No. HC/155/2021 dismissed the Muri Muneneship of Prof. Itam and as such, the said title is not to be attached to him as it has not been set aside by the court till date.

The state governor had set up a reconciliation committee to bring all the aggrieved parties together.

Prof. Itam had filed a case in Suit no HC/161/2023 praying the court to remove Efut Combined Assembly from the palace in Anantigha, but the matter is still pending in court.

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