Ascension to Otaru of Auchi’s throne ought to be by rotation not selection- lkharo family

Justice Daniel Okungbowa of Benin, Edo State High Court yesterday expressed surprised that nobody from Ikharo sub ruling house has emerged victorious as the Otaru of Auchi, Edo State, 103 years after the death of the patriarch.


At the resumed cross examination in the Auchi, Edo State Chieftaincy dispute, counsel to Ikharo Family, Mr. Dan Ose Okoh, (SAN) had asked Prince Suleiman Momoh, a defendant witnesses why nobody from Ikharo Family had emerged victorious in the contest for the Otaruship even though, some of the contestants like Prince Braimah Ikharo, a Masters of Arts graduate and Prince Mahmud Ikharo, a first class graduate of Mathematics and quantity surveyor contested at different times.


Prince Momoh who was silent had maintained that the choice of the community’s traditional ruler was by selection and not rotation, insisting that members of the Ikharo Family had contested every election since the passing away of His Royal Majesty, Alhaji Momoh Idaewor in 1944.


Apparently impressed with the educational qualifications of the Ikharo princes when Mr. Okoh reeled them out, Justice Okungbowa queried why they have not been on the throne of they are so qualified.
Okoh however faulted Prince Momoh, insisting that ascension to the throne of Otaru of the northern Edo town of Auchi ought to be by rotation and not selection in line with the 1979 Law of Bendel State which is presently applicable in Edo State.


Justice Okungbowa subsequently adjourned to March 30 for the first defendant to close his case following an agreement between the counsels.
Maintaining that the Otaruship is by selection and not rotation, the duo of Edo State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, and the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs  had closed their case when the case came up in January.


In suit No: B/329/2018 between the claimants Mamudu Ikharo, Yahaya Ikharo against the Attorney General, Edo State, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government Affairs, His Royal Majesty, Alhaji HA Momoh, the Otaru of Auchi, they are seeking a declaration that the selection, presentation and appointment and/or production of Otaru of Auchi is rotational, and each sub-ruling house of Ikelebe Ruling House must take it turn in accordance with the custom and tradition of Auchi as enshrined in Section 3(2) and 14 (1) (c) of the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law 1979.


The plaintiffs are also seeking a declaration that the Odjiugo Commission of Inquiry into the Otaru of Auchi Chieftaincy title as regards the number and identity of the Ruling House and the order of rotation represents the true traditional, correct and customary position of Ikelebe title under Auchi Native Law and Customs.

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