From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
A claimant to the traditional stool of Alor community, Anambra State, Chief Collins Chukwumesiri, has been arraigned before a Nnobi Chief Magistrate’s Court on a seven-count charge bordering on criminal breach of peace, threat to life and impersonation of the traditional ruler.
In the matter between the complainant, Inspector General of Police vs the Defendant, Chief Collins Chukwumesili, Suit No: MIS/3C/21, the Police Prosecutor, DSP Patrick Chieke told the court that the defendant on the 4th of October, 2020, in Umuezeani village, Alor, did conspire with others now at large and did commit an offence by threatening violence, malicious damage and conduct likely to cause a breach of peace by threatening the life and family of His Royal Majesty, MacAnthony Chinedu Elibe Okonkwo, damaged the keys to his residence, installed himself as the traditional ruler of Alor community and also disrupted the Offala ceremony organized by the Royal Majesty thereby committed an offence punishable under section496 of the Criminal Code Cap 36 Vol.11 laws of Anambra State of Nigeria 1991, as amended.
‘That you Chief Collins Chukwumesili in the same date, place and time did commit an offence by unlawfully allowing yourself to be installed by Uzoma Igbonwa, Okwuchukwu Nwoye, Dolie Chinedu and others as the traditional ruler of Alor kingdom with the title of Ezedioramma III of Alor Kingdom while MacAnthony Chinedu Elibe Okonkwo was alive and existing as the traditional ruler of the same kingdom which you did without lawful authority or permission from Anambra State government thereby committed offence punishable under section 18 of the Anambra State Chieftaincy Law 2020 as amended.’
Chukumesili was also accused of performing Offala ceremony and allowing himself to be addressed as the Ezedioramma III of Alor even when the recognised traditional ruler, His Royal Majesty, MacAnthony Okonwkwo, was still alive and without permission or authorization from Anambra State Government also punishable under section 19 of the Anambra State Chieftaincy Law 2020, as amended.
The defendant pleaded not guilty of all the charges levelled against him while the presiding Magistrate, Ken Nwoye, granted him bail in the like sum of N500,000 with a surety who must be resident in Alor and whose identity must be confirmed by the court.
The magistrate also charged both parties to maintain peace and avoid any act capable of causing trouble in the community or among individuals.
The matter was adjourned to 15th and 22nd February 2021 for the hearing of the substantive suit.