Governor withdraws certificate from Monarch, issues fresh instrument to another

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has presented a Certificate of Recognition and Staff of Office to Eze Uchechukwu Isaiah Elikwu, as the Eze Epara Rebisi, XII.

At a brief ceremony yesterday at the Government House, Port Harcourt, the governor said the presentation was done in obedience to a court judgment.

Wike, according to a statement by his Special Assistant, Media, Kelvin Ebiri, said he had signed first the legal instrument to revoke the recognition Victor Worluchem had enjoyed before signing the instrument to recognise Eze Uchechukwu Isaiah Elikwu as the Eze Epara Rebisi.

He said: “So, by the powers conferred on me, on the 15th of November, 2021, when the judgment came out and by the legal opinion of the Attorney General, I signed the instrument withdrawing the recognition of Prince Victor Woluchem as Eze Epara Rebisi, which of course, is a first class traditional chieftaincy stool.

“So, that instrument of revocation and withdrawal was done on the 15th of November, 2021, while the instrument of recognition of the new Eze Epara Rebisi, who is, by the grace of God, Uchechukwu Elikwu, was signed on the 16th of November, 2021. And today, we are here to present that certificate of recognition and staff of office.”

The Governor said the title is a first class chieftaincy stool in Port Harcourt City Local Government.

He said the court had declared that Uchechukwu Elikwu was the rightful person to occupy the position of Eze Epara Rebisi because his coronation and selection passed due process in accordance with Rebisi custom and chieftaincy protocols.

Wike said the presentation had to be performed by him because of the importance of the stool to the government, and also to ensure peace in the area.

He said that when he came on board as governor in 2015, Victor Worluchem was the occupant of the stool, having been so recognised by the previous administration.

The Governor said there was no need to interfere in the dispute that had immersed the traditional stool since the matter was already in court.

He said his administration secured the understanding of the parties in the dispute to maintain the peace and status quo while they awaited court judgment.

“So as the 9th defendants in the case, the court directed not only should we recognise the plaintiff (Uchechukwu Elikwu) as the Eze Epara Rebisi, but we should go ahead and revoke the recognition of Victor Worluchem.

“As a law abiding government, we must obey court order. We don’t choose the one to obey, and the one not to obey,” Wike said.

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